Academy Award-winning actor Paul Newman escaped injury Saturday when the race car he was testing caught fire following a spin at Daytona International Speedway.
Newman was driving a Daytona Prototype sports car for next month’s Rolex 24 when he spun on the road course, said Adam Saal, Grand American Series spokesman. The car didn’t hit anything, but when Newman tried to restart the engine it caught fire.
The fire was contained to the engine compartment, and Newman escaped without harm. He was taken to the track’s infield medical center and released after a brief exam.
“I don’t know what happened,” said Newman, who returned to the track to watch one of his drivers, Sebastian Bourdais, test another car. “I’m fine. It just caught on fire somehow.”
“Knowing Paul, I doubt if this changes his plans to race in the Rolex 24 at Daytona,” Saal said.
The 79-year-old Newman won the GTS class in the 1995 Rolex 24 and owns four championships in Sports Car Club of America competition. He first took an interest in auto racing while filming “Winning” in 1968.