Sat, Jul 09, 2016 - Page 16 News List

Motor racing’s Carl Haas dies; team cofounder was 86


Finding Carl Haas in an IndyCar garage was a simple matter of looking for the man with the cigar. His name was just as easy to spot in the record books as well.

Haas, cofounder of Newman-Haas Racing with late actor Paul Newman, has died. He was 86.

His company, Carl Haas Automobile Imports Inc, posted a statement on its Web site on Thursday saying that Haas died on Wednesday last week at his home surrounded by family.

Newman-Haas established themselves as one of the most successful open-wheel teams, hiring Mario Andretti as their first driver. Among their other drivers were Michael Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Paul Tracy, Sebastien Bourdais and Christian Fittipaldi.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway issued a statement on Thursday describing Haas as one of the most influential men in motorsports for nearly half a century.

Newman-Haas cars made 30 starts over a 28-year span at the Indianapolis 500 from 1983 to 2011, with six top-five finishes. They also fielded teams in Formula 1 and NASCAR.

Known for his omnipresent cigar and a savvy business sense, Haas teamed with Newman to form Newman-Haas in 1983 and build a long record of success with the legendary Andretti leading that impressive driver roster.

Newman-Haas Racing won 107 IndyCar races, while Andretti won the 1984 title along with 18 races with the team over the final 12 years of his legendary career.

Overall, Haas’ teams won 16 championships and more than 140 races over a 44-year career as an owner.

“He touched many lives and many careers with his involvement in the sport,” Andretti said by telephone on Thursday. “He certainly touched my life. I felt I should have some say in matters with the team and the engineers and they gave me that.”

Andretti said Haas remained an unpretentious, likable personality who was never far from his cigar “unless he was asleep.”

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