Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Remembering PL Newman

With the death of Paul Newman (known in the racing community simply as "PL", the tributes to the beloved driver, team owner, benefactor and award-winning great American actor have been as astonishing in number as they have been deep in sentiment. When Newman died on September 26, the racing world didn't just lose a popular team owner -- everyone here lost a friend.

Lots of Hollywood-types have been known to make appearances at big races, some even suit up and get behind the wheel, but few have fallen in love with racing and devoted themselves to the sport in quite the way PL did. He had said that racing was "the first thing that I ever found I had any grace in," a statement that echoes like a song to those with Racer's Blood in their veins.

While the mainstream media reported (rightly so) that Newman had raised and donated huge sums of money to children’s charities and other causes, his generosity and leadership throughout the world of motorsports was and still is one of the greatest stories to be told about the man. And at no place was this story told better during the week than at the Mazda Atlantic Championship Series Awards banquet held on Friday night. Numerous racers and teams in the Atlantic series had the benefit of PL’s involvement, and his presence in that series – as with all the others in which he participated – will be missed for a long time to come.

All over the track, any series that competed, it seemed every car had a sticker remembering a racer modestly called PL Newman.

[excerpted from tomorrow's AE article]

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