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Rough Weekend for Auto Sports Families
September 29, 2008

This past weekend was a rough one for many families in the auto racing world. First, we lost Paul Newman on Friday, then Richard Bahre on Saturday followed by Perry Ricks Southall and Hal Hamrick on Sunday.

On Friday, September 26, 2008, Paul Leonard Newman, passed away after a long battle with cancer. He was 83 and leaves behind 6 children and a widow, Joanne Woodward, who he was married to for almost 50 years.

Newman had a long sucessful movie career that migrated into launching a food products brand. He was also very philanthropic. In 1988 he started the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps for terminally ill children.

He was also a passionate race car driver since the early 1970's. In 1982 he became co-owner of Newman-Haas Racing, which became Newman-Haas-Lanigan IndyCar Series Racing team.

For a full tribute to Paul Newman click here.

Richard Bahre, more commonly known as Dick Bahre, was the brother of Bob Bahre who owned and operated New Hampshire International Speedway until his recent sale of the track to Speedway Motorsports, who renamed the track New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Dick Bahre passed-away on Saturday, September 27, 2008, he was 76. For about 20 years he was the general manager of Oxford Plains Speedway in Maine. He was a member of the most recent class in the Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame. He was also a former racer himself and car owner for drivers such as Geoffrey Bodine, Michael Waltrip, Sterling Marlin and Morgan Shepherd.

Perry Ricks Southall, passed-away on Sunday, September 28, 2008 at the age of 84. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Mary Wheless Southall. He has two children Jeffrey and Cindy Haston who with her husband, Don, have three of Perry's grandsons, Brandon, Brent and Jonathan.

He was known to the NASCAR world as Johnny and was the fuel crew chief for Union 76, a former fuel supplier for NASCAR, for more than 40 years as he oversaw the fuel operations at the tracks.

Hal Hamrick, passed-away on Sunday, September 28, 2008 at the age of 79. Hamrick, a racing journalist and radio broadcaster that was a part of the radio broadcast of the first Daytona 500 in 1959.

He was also the publisher of FasTrack, a weekly racing magazine. He broadcast his first race at Martinsville Speedway in 1952.

 
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