LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. — Carl Haas, co-founder of Newman-Haas Racing with late actor Paul Newman, has died. He was 86.
His company posted a statement on its web site Thursday saying Mr. Haas died on June 29 at his home. Mr. Haas suffered from Alzheimer's disease before his death.
After winning sports car championships, Mr. Haas joined Newman to form Newman/Haas Racing in 1983, hiring Mario Andretti as its first driver. St. Petersburg resident Sebastien Bourdais won four straight Champ Car titles with Haas from 2004-07.
"The thing that I always appreciated always about Carl was the fact that he was 110 percent racer," Andretti said. "He depended on racing, on the sport, 100 percent for his financial success. Racing was his only focus every day."
Indianapolis Motor Speedway called Mr. Haas, a character who became famous for chomping on a huge cigar that he rarely lit, one of the most influential men in motorsports. Newman-Haas cars made 30 starts at the Indianapolis 500 from 1983-2011, with six top-five finishes.
He was not related to Gene Haas, co-owner of NASCAR's Haas-Tony Stewart team.
TRUCKS: Rookie William Byron took the lead on lap 82 to win Thursday's Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 at Sparta, Ky. Byron's win gave Kyle Busch Motorsports team the most truck series wins with 51 career victories. The 18-year-old Byron led two times for his fourth win this season and second in three starts. John H. Nemechek finished second, followed by Daniel Hemric, rookie Christopher Bell and Johnny Sauter. Hemric and Nemechek battled side-by-side down the stretch in hopes of catching Byron but neither could chase down the series leader. Byron's team owner Busch finished 30th following contact with Spencer Gallagher on lap 58.