Winning, The Racing Life of Paul Newman, documentary film release

Newman Racing Documentary Opens

The movie poster

The movie poster

I’m pleased and proud that my book, The Winning Life of Paul Newman, has been made into a proper documentary film. My big thanks to Adam Carolla and his great team for taking on this job and doing a wonderfully professional job of it. I hope you can go see it when it opens near you. Great interviews with great folks, and I feel you’ll love the archival racing footage — thanks, MS.

The book cover

The book cover

Los Angeles — Notoriously private and likely prouder of his racing accomplishments than his Academy Award for acting and six nominations, Paul Newman’s racing passion and love of the sport is the subject of a new film that will hit theaters and video on demand (VOD) platforms on Friday, May 22.

The documentary “Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman,” directed and produced by comedian/car guy Adam Carolla and Nate Adams, opens in select theaters nationwide and in VOD format on May 22. Carolla has owned, restored and raced seven of Newman’s former race cars, most of them Datsuns/Nissans.

Newman’s racing career spanned 35 years, during which time he won four SCCA national titles as a driver and eight Champ Car drivers’ championships as co-owner of Newman-Haas Racing. He also finished 2nd overall and 1st in GT class at Le Mans 1979 in Dick Barbour’s Porsche 935 with teammates Rolf Stommelen and Barbour. His racing passion began while training for his role in the 1969 racing film “Winning.” Newman didn’t start racing until he was 47 years old, long after most drivers hang up their helmet. At 70 he became the oldest driver to be part of a winning team in a major sanctioned race, his Ford Mustang finishing 3rd overall and 1st in GTS-1 class at the 1995 Daytona 24 Hours with teammates Tommy Kendall, Michael Brockman and Mark Martin.

The 83-minute film includes interviews with Newman himself, Mario and Michael Andretti, Sebastian Bourdais, Tom Cruise, Patrick Dempsey, Jay Leno, Sam Posey, Robert Redford, Bob Sharp, his “Winning” co-star Robert Wagner and widow Joanne Woodward, along with other racers. Carolla stated, “There were so many incredible stories about Newman over his 35-year racing career and I was amazed that no one wanted to commit to telling his story.”

A 2008 Vanity Fair article on Newman noted, “So much of why he loved racing was because he could hang around the track with the other drivers and be ‘one of the guys.’ They didn’t treat him like a movie star, yet they were very protective of him-no photographers allowed, no press, no fans. Eventually he arranged his schedule so he could spend six months a year racing and six months making movies…” Newman died Sept. 26, 2008 at age 83, but not before he took some final laps at his home track, Lime Rock Park.

A major philanthropist, his Newman’s Own food company has donated $430 million in profits to date, to charities, and he also founded the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for seriously ill children.

The film premieres tonight in Los Angeles and another is scheduled May 22 in Indianapolis, in conjunction with the Long Beach Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500, respectively. All proceeds from screening tickets will benefit charity. Distributor FilmBuff has licensed worldwide rights to the film, and told VM the film will be available on DVD in the late 4th quarter of this year.