CHAMPCAR/CART: Newman/Haas reaches 300th race milestone in Japan

MOTEGI, Japan (May 16, 2001) --- Newman/Haas Racing will reach a milestone Saturday with the running of the Firestone Firehawk 500 in Motegi, Japan. Since being formed in late 1982 by Academy Award winning actor and racecar driver Paul Newman and...

MOTEGI, Japan (May 16, 2001) --- Newman/Haas Racing will reach a milestone Saturday with the running of the Firestone Firehawk 500 in Motegi, Japan. Since being formed in late 1982 by Academy Award winning actor and racecar driver Paul Newman and entrepreneur Carl A. Haas, Newman/Haas Racing will compete in their 300th event since their first race in 1983.

Currently in their 19th season, the team has accumulated 59 wins, 63 pole positions and three CART Championships en route to establishing themselves as the second most successful team in CART history. Contributing to their success were drivers such as Mario and Michael Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Paul Tracy and current drivers Christian Fittipaldi and Cristiano da Matta so naming just one highlight would be difficult.

"Newman/Haas Racing has had many highlights over the years, so it is hard to say which one has been the most memorable," said Carl A. Haas, co-owner of Newman/Haas Racing. "The opportunity to have Paul Newman as a partner and Mario Andretti as our driver for the last 12 years of his illustrious career provided many rewards both professionally and personally. Newman Haas Racing's first win in 1983 and our first championship in 1984 were exceptional highlights."

For their 300th event this weekend at the Twin Ring Motegi oval, Newman/Haas Racing is confident of their chances to defend their 2000 victory by former team driver, Michael Andretti. On oval tracks in general, the team has scored 21 of their 59 victories and plans to add to that number this weekend.

"Carl and Paul have done a great job over the years making Newman/Haas Racing one of the legendary teams in CART," said Christian Fittipaldi, who is in his sixth season with the team and currently drives the Kmart Toyota. "I'm proud to be associated with Newman/Haas Racing both professionally and personally. I have a great relationship with both Carl and Paul and the entire team. They are all like a second family to me in many ways which is important given the amount of time we all dedicate to the sport we love. They are all racers at heart and that is only one of the things that makes this team exceptional. It would be great to bring the team a victory in their 300th event this weekend."

Cristiano da Matta added his name to the illustrious list of drivers at Newman/Haas Racing and achieved something only Nigel Mansell had been able to do for the team - he won in his debut. Currently, da Matta is leading the Championship after driving his Texaco/Havoline/Kmart Toyota to victory in Mexico, finishing second in Long Beach and 10th in Nazareth.

"When I found out Newman/Haas Racing was going to have their 300th race in Japan it didn't really sink in until I thought about how much effort goes into being in 300 races," said da Matta. "Even though I have only been with the team since last November, I can tell you that they never took winning any of their 59 races for granted. Instead of basking in the glory of the 59 wins, they were concentrating on why they didn't win the other races. With every win they get, it makes them want more. As a driver, that is an incredibly motivating environment."

While having talented drivers is a key to winning, Haas understands that racing is a team sport and in order to continue to be successful, you must hire the best personnel in the business.

"We have created some great moments over the past few years and we plan to continue," said Haas. "The most recent highlights have been Christian Fittipaldi's 500-mile win at the Marlboro 500 in California and Cristiano da Matta's win in Mexico in his debut with the team. Both drivers have a lot of talent and we are looking forward to more exciting races with them. As with any team, the employees are the backbone and Paul and myself have assembled some of the best in racing and their efforts have contributed to our wins, pole positions and level of competition over the years."

Round 4 in the CART FedEx Championship Series will take place on May 19 at the Firestone Firehawk 500 at Twin Ring Motegi. The race will be televised via tape delay on ABC at 1 PM ET on Sunday, May 19. Saturday's race will also air on the CART Radio Network and on CART's official website, at www.cart.com .

ADDITIONAL QUOTES:
Carl A. Haas, Co-owner of Newman/Haas Racing: "Newman Haas Racing has had many highlights over the years, so it is hard to say which one has been the most memorable," said Carl A. Haas, co-owner of Newman/Haas Racing. "The opportunity to have Paul Newman as a partner and Mario Andretti as our driver for the last 12 years of his illustrious career provided many rewards both professionally and personally. Newman Haas Racing's first win in 1983 and our first championship in 1984 were exceptional highlights. Having the first father/son team when Michael joined Mario, in 1989, culminating in Michael's 1991 championship and the Marlboro challenge win on the same Laguna Seca weekend, was another memorable moment for NHR. Bringing Nigel Mansell over to race in the US brought a lot of excitement to the team and the CART series with Nigel bringing the Team its 3rd championship in 1993 when he was still the reigning World Champion. The most recent highlights have been Christian Fittipaldi's 500-mile win at the Marlboro 500 in California and Cristiano da Matta's win in Mexico in his debut with the team. Both drivers have a lot of talent and we are looking forward to more exciting races with them. As with any team, the employees are the backbone and Paul and myself have assembled some of the best in racing and their efforts have contributed to our wins, pole positions and level of competition over the years."

-NHR-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Christian Fittipaldi , Nigel Mansell , Mario Andretti , Paul Newman , Cristiano da Matta