Winning - The Racing Life of Paul Newman is a Winner

Written by: 
Taro Koki
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Recently GTChannel was invited to attend the premiere of Adam Carolla's documentary film Winning The Racing Life of Paul Newman at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood.  Like any other night in Hollywood, there were about 2 or 3 other premieres going on just down the street.  But it was easy to tell which one was actually the Winning premiere as I pulled up to the Roosevelt Hotel where a "Red Carpet" event with some drinks was being held.  

Many of Paul Newman's old beautiful Bob Sharp Racing Nissan cars were parked outside Hollywood blvd so it wasn't hard to find this joint.  After a nice cocktail, courtesy of our friends from Nissan USA, we were ushered down the street to the theater and into our seats.  


Adam Carolla (above photo right) who produced and directed the film was there to introduce the film with his co-director Nate Adams(photo left).  As you can tell from how wide the photo is, we were seated on the second level.  


Your average guy or neighbor will probably never ever hear about this movie.  But as an automotive enthusiast, you should go see it.  It's an awesome story about a race car driver and his will to race.  It has nothing to do with Paul Newman the "actor" or "star."  It's all about Paul Newman the racer.


Did you know he raced until he was 82 years old, just a year before his death?  

Did you know he started racing when he was 47 years old?

Did you know he won at Le Mans? 

Did you know he has four SCCA Championships?


The movie is full of surprises and also accounts from his friends and family.  Robert Redford in his interview says, "film came second to racing for Paul." 


Many actors get the racing bug or get into cars some time or another.  What is one to do with all of that money anyway? Paul Newman wasn't the first actor that caught the racing bug either. But the big difference is that Newman shifted his priority to racing and away from acting.  He wanted to be one of the racers.  He wanted to be number one in racing.  Newman says in the movie, with acting, you can win an award or lose an award.  Who knows how that happened?  In racing, it's easy, the guy that crosses the finish line first wins.  He preferred the clarity of racing compared to the vague but also complex entertainment industry.  He wanted to be respected in the racing world and the way you earned it was winning races.  


After the movie, I was waiting in the lobby to meet my friends who I got separated with.  Patrick Dempsey rolled out, then that dude from the Bachelor and a few other faces I recognized. My buddies came out and apparently they sat on the first level sandwiched by Mario Andretti and Steve Millen flanked by Bob Bondurant.  They asked who I sat next to and I couldn't tell them who they were.  It didn't matter, because as soon as the movie started, you are taken into Paul Newman's racing life.  


Although it would've been nice to get a picture with Mario...