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Newman Charity In The Fast Lane

The CART Champ Car series is joining Paul Newman in merging two of the actor's favorite off-screen passions — charity work and auto racing.

CART announced over the weekend that it was naming Newman's Hole in the Wall Camps Inc. as the official charity of the racing series.

Flanked by the drivers competing in Sunday's Grand Prix of Monterey, Newman said, "I've always believed the best part of America is its generosity. The real winner here is the kids whose lives are changed forever."

Founded in 1988, the charity has sent more than 50,000 youngsters to one of its five camps that serve children with serious illness, providing medical services along with normal camping activities.

Champ Car President and CEO Christopher R. Pook said the series will support fund-raising for the association through its international marketing and is exploring ways to use its racing events to help promote the cause.

Newman, 78, is co-owner of the Newman-Haas Champ Car team and an occasional racer. He most recently finished fifth in a Trans-Am Series event at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. His team is the most successful team currently participating in the Champ Car World Series and is second in Champ Car World Series history with 68 victories.

Newman first took an interest in auto racing while filming "Winning" in 1968, in which he played the role of an Indianapolis 500 driver. His first win was in 1972; his last major triumph came in 1995 at the age of 70.