April 25, 2013-PL Newman at IRP

In 1993 they staged the “Fastmaster’s Series” that ran in conjunction with the USAC Midgets and Thursday Night Thunder. On the night Paul Newman competed we had a bunch of rain and the infield was a mud pit. Mr Newman ran her in to deep in turn one, missed the corner and wound up axle deep, out of the show. I was fortunate enough to be the pit reporter for these events and we had been warned that Paul will be happy to talk racing but don’t mention movies!!! So as he headed for his trailer I chased after him, reaching him just as we went to commercial. He was graciously waiting for the break to end when I heard Terry Lingner, the producer, in my headset say ” talk to him, keep him engaged”. What the heck was I going to say to Paul Newman? For once I was at a lost for words. Finally, I stamered, “Uh, I sat in the stands in 1969 while you shot winning.”

He just started back at me and said nothing. Terry screamed “are you kidding me?! No movies!”

I think I did say “kind of wet out huh?”

“Yep” came his answer.

After what seemed like forever we were back and he was great on the air in spite of my holding the Mic.

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By the way. we were all wearing a #28 decal in honor of Davey Allison who had just been fatally injured in a helicopter accident.

 

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3 comments

  1. Good series that could have been much better had the drivers paid attention to what was going on. I was in the pace car and they tried to pass us all of the time. The cars were de-tuned to slow them down but that did not work either. It was Ted Hollingsworth who put the series together and it was a great idea.

  2. Sandy Hintz · · Reply

    Met Paul once in the LaGuardia Eastern Airlines Club Lounge. Smaller than I expected him to be. Aloof and not very friendly. Not the greatest thrill of many Hollywood types I have met. Most are at least friendly until they find out if you can do something for their career or not. Paul just wanted to be left alone. He sort of sneak around the IMS garage area the same way. Many actors just “turn off” when they are not in charactor and have to play their most difficult role……themselves.

  3. I remember that night well, Dave. I made up a couple sheets of those “28” stickers for our staff to put on their badges. Next thing I know, Terry Lingner wants them for his whole crew, Back to the office and making more. Even the fans got into the act and I used up my entire stock of gum-backed paper, because they found out where they were coming from. Quite an indication of the feeling people had about Davey.

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