Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Maker of Tires... Robert Newton

Robert Newton along with his wife, Joyce started their racing tire company called Hoosier Tires in an old horse barn in South Bend in 1957. Bob had started racing stock cars on weekends at tracks in the Midwest. Back then they were running on regular street tires and Bob had lost some races because the tires were coming apart. Bob and his wife got the idea to start recapping street tires with softer rubber, which gave them more grip which meant more speed and lasted longer. The company grew from that small beginning to the largest race tire company in America.

Just a night at the track with Bob and Joyce Newton. Image via Hoosier Tires.

Hoosier became the race tire for people who race as individuals rather than corporate-sponsored teams. With thousands of Saturday night type race tracks around the country, the privateers were the ones buying Hoosiers since 1957. The company branched out from oval tracks to drag racing, road course racing, vintage racing, Bonneville, autocross events even go-carts shipping tires to more than 70 countries.

Early in the 1980s the company began supplying tires to NASCAR, and Darrell Waltrip took Hoosier tires to victory in 1989 at the granddaddy of events, the Daytona 500. You could say Hoosier tires have become a fixture at race tracks around the country by today's standards. Even with that, it's still a privately held company headquartered in Lakeville, Indiana.

Bob Newton passed away on September 26, 2012 at the age of 85. Godspeed Bob...

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  1. Bob was a very special man. He had a huge influence on my racing career and an even greater influence on his community...
    He will be missed..

  2. Great history of tires, thanks for sharing with us.

  3. i think to write in blogs, you have to be very focused on what is the main subject and the rest comes casually