Disney, Pixar on-board with Newman at Daytona

Film Legend Paul Newman Celebrates His 80th Birthday Today and Races for New Record at Next Week's Rolex 24 at Daytona in Disney and Pixar Sponsored Racecar BURBANK, Calif., Jan. 26 -- At an age when most people think about slowing down,...

Film Legend Paul Newman Celebrates His 80th Birthday Today and Races for New Record at Next Week's Rolex 24 at Daytona in Disney and Pixar Sponsored Racecar

BURBANK, Calif., Jan. 26 -- At an age when most people think about slowing down, film legend Paul Newman, who celebrates his 80th birthday today (1/26), is set to put the pedal to the metal behind the wheel of a Disney and Pixar sponsored racecar on February 4th, and race for a new record at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, it was announced today. The Academy Award-winning actor, who voices the character of a 1951 Hudson Hornet named Doc Hudson in the summer 2006 computer-animated feature, "Cars" (a Disney presentation of a Pixar Film), already holds a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest driver to win a professionally sanctioned race in 1995 at Daytona. Newman will be joined by Sebastien Bourdais (2004 Champ Car World Series Champion for Newman/Haas Racing); Cristiano da Matta (2002 Champ Car World Series Champion for Newman/Haas Racing); and Michael Brockman, Newman's co-driver when they won the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 1995.

Commenting on the announcement, Newman said, "We all like to push the envelope. I just hope the old bones can motor along Fed Ex and not Delayed Delivery. Fortunately, I'll be with a champion bunch of shoes and good race car courtesy of John Lasseter of Pixar and Disney."

Pixar's John Lasseter, director of "Cars" and an Oscar-winning director responsible for the "Toy Story" films and "A Bug's Life," added, "When Paul races next week at Daytona, I'll be there cheering him on along with a few others from the 'Cars' production team. It's been a thrill working with him on our movie, and getting a chance to discuss our mutual love of cars. Moviegoers are going to love hearing Paul's amazing performance as Doc Hudson in 'Cars,' and we're really honored to have him in our cast."

Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, said, "This is the second year that Disney and Pixar are sponsoring Paul's car at Daytona, and we're proud to be associated with this great actor and car enthusiast. 'Cars' is shaping up to be another spectacular movie from John and the Pixar animation team, and a worthy successor to our Oscar(R) nominated hit, 'The Incredibles.' We'll be rooting for Paul to win at Daytona, and eager for audiences to hear his memorable performance in the film next summer."

"Cars," a Disney presentation of a Pixar Film, is scheduled to reach the starting line at theatres everywhere on June 9, 2006. After taking moviegoers into the magic realm of toys, bugs, monsters, fish, and superheroes, the masterful storytellers and technical wizards at Pixar ("The Incredibles," "Finding Nemo," "Monsters, Inc."), and Academy Award-winning director John Lasseter ("Toy Story," "Toy Story 2," "A Bug's Life"), hit the road with a fast-paced comedy adventure set inside the world of cars. Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson), a hotshot rookie racecar driven to succeed, discovers that life is about the journey, not the finish line, when he finds himself unexpectedly detoured in the sleepy Route 66 town of Radiator Springs. En route across the country to the big Piston Cup Championship in California to compete against two seasoned pros, McQueen gets to know the town's offbeat characters -- including Sally (a snazzy 2002 Porsche voiced by Bonnie Hunt), Doc Hudson (a 1951 Hudson Hornet with a mysterious past, voiced by Paul Newman), and Mater (a rusty but trusty tow truck voiced by Larry the Cable Guy) -- who help him realize that there are more important things than trophies, fame and sponsorship. The all-star vocal cast also includes free-wheeling performances by racing legend Richard Petty and Cheech Marin. Fueled with plenty of humor, action, heartfelt drama, and amazing new technical feats, "Cars" is a high octane delight for moviegoers of all ages.

Pixar Animation Studios (Nasdaq:PIXR) (www.pixar.com) combines creative and technical artistry to create original stories in the medium of computer animation. Pixar has created six of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time: Academy Award-winning "Toy Story" (1995); "A Bug's Life" (1998); Golden Globe-winner "Toy Story 2" (1999); the Academy Award-winning Monsters, Inc. (2001), the Academy Award(R)-winning "Finding Nemo" (2003) and "The Incredibles" (2004). Pixar's six films have earned more than $3 billion at the worldwide box office to date. The Northern California studio's next film release is "Cars" (June 9, 2006). Pixar's films are released by Walt Disney Pictures.

-walt disney pictures-

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Paul Newman , Richard Petty , Sébastien Bourdais , Michael Brockman , Cristiano da Matta