A new documentary by Adam Carolla, called "Winning: The racing Life of Paul Newman," which premieres on April 16 in Los Angeles and goes on general release on May 22, aims to understand just what it was about the sport that so mesmerised the actor and to highlight just how successful he became as an individual driver and as a team owner.
This obsessive love of racing is why Newman never signed on for a film that would shoot between April and October for fear that it would drag him away from the sport.
And in order to highlight how remarkable Newman's racing life was - he was still fully involved in the sport until his 81st year as an endurance racer, competing at the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway in 2006 - Carolla has managed to rope in everyone from Robert Wagner and Robert Redford to Patrick Dempsey, Jay Leno, Mario Andretti, Michael Andretti and Tom Cruise, to help shed light on the man and his commitment to the sport.
A well-known radio host, broadcaster, comedian and classic car collector - who just so happens to own five of Newman's racing cars - Carolla is himself somewhat of an expert on Newman's track-focused achievements. He has been toiling away on the documentary since 2013.
"I decided somebody's got to make a documentary about Paul Newman, the racecar driver with little to no acting involved, just racing. And I thought, 'Well, why not the guy who has five of his cars Okay, let's do it.' So I started doing a documentary on Paul Newman, the racecar driver," Carolla told Racer at the time.
Newman's single greatest achievement as a driver is coming second in the 1979 Le Mans, on that occasion driving a Porsche 935. But the cars that he will be most closely associated with are Datsuns and later, Nissans when the company changed its name. Some would argue that Newman singlehandedly made the brand cool in the US, driving them to victory at four SCCA professional national championships between 1979 and 1986.
"Paul Newman not only won an Oscar as an actor, but also amassed four national championships as a driver and eight championships as a team owner, with many of his most significant victories coming behind the wheel of Nissan and Datsun vehicles," said Nissan North America's Jeremy Tucker. "Paul never stopped racing, winning his last race at the age of 82, and we're excited to help honour his rich legacy as a racer and humanitarian."