Carl Haas, co-founder of Newman-Haas Racing, dies at 86

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Carl Haas, co-founder of Newman-Haas Racing with late actor Paul Newman, has died. He was 86.

His company, Carl Haas Automobile Imports Inc., posted a statement on its web site Thursday saying Haas died on June 29 at his home surrounded by family.

Newman-Haas established itself as one of the most successful open-wheel teams, hiring Mario Andretti as its first driver. Among its other drivers were Michael Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Paul Tracy, Sebastien Bourdais and Christian Fittipaldi. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway issued a statement Thursday describing Haas as one of the most influential men in motorsports for nearly a half-century.

Newman-Haas cars made 30 starts over a 28-year span at the Indianapolis 500 from 1983-2011, with six top-five finishes. He also fielded teams in in Can-Am, Formula 1 and NASCAR.