Monday, May 22, 2017

Paul Newman Makes Onscreen Racing Debut In "Winning" - May 22, 1969

May 22, 1969

Paul Newman the legendary actor, philanthropist and automobile enthusiast makes his onscreen racing debut in the action-drama film "Winning."

In "Winning," Newman played Frank Capua, a struggling race car driver who must turn around his fortunes by winning the biggest race of them all, the Indianapolis 500 and in the process avoid losing his wife played by Newman's real life spouse, Joanne Woodward to his biggest rival, Luther Erding (Robert Wagner). Newman and Wagner attended racing school to prepare for their action scenes, and Newman reportedly performed many of the racing scenes himself, without a stunt driver.

Three years after making the film, Newman launched a racing career of his own, driving a Lotus Elan in his first Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) race in 1972. In the mid 1970s, he joined a racing team, and they finished in fifth place in the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1977. Newman's personal best finish was second place in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1979; he drove a Porsche 935. In 1980, Newman talked to Sports Illustrated about his entry into racing after "Winning": "I found I had enjoyed the precision of it, of controlling those cars, I could see it would be a gas to do something like that really well." For more: Paul Newman - Tribute Page

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