A Tribute to Hoosier Tire Legend Bob Newton - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

A Tribute to Hoosier Tire Legend Bob Newton


"Opportunities came to me one after another, and it was whether you take them or pass them up," said Bob Newton during a 2010 interview with FOX 28 Sports Director Dean Huppert.

Newton, the co-founder of Hoosier Tire passed away Wednesday at the age of 85.  We visited Lakeville Thursday, where the visionary and philanthropist's generosity is felt everyday.

"He was awfully generous to this whole city here," said Frank Buczolich as he sat down for breakfast at the counter of the Hilltop Restaurant. 

Newton's generosity is easy to spot.  Just look at the park that bears his name.  The Hoosier Tire Founder created "a place for kids."  The state-of-the-art facilities impressed Newton himself back when the park was being built.   "The gold dome, you know this is the closest one you're going to get to Notre Dame," Newton told us at the time. 

It was Newton's attitude that was golden.  He started Hoosier Tire in 1957.  Today it's the largest race tire manufacturer in the world.  That's pretty impressive for a race driver who used to sleep under his hauler.  "You've got to have integrity and honesty and you've got to be humble to get away in life today," Newton told Dean during that 2010 interview. 

Newton helped give NASCAR Star Tony Stewart his start.  The two had the same Hoosier Pride.  It's something FOX 28's Allison Hayes once talked to Stewart about.

"You know, you're known for being an Indiana guy," Allison said to Stewart.  "It's so important to be here in Indiana.  Bob is the same way.  He could have gone anywhere with this type of company, but he's right here in Indiana."

Stewart nodded in agreement.  "Yeah I mean, once a Hoosier, always a Hoosier," he said. 

Stewart released a statement Thursday about Newton's passing.  "If it weren't for Bob and the company he built, guys like me never would've had the opportunity to do what we do, and I never would've had the opportunity to make it to NASCAR," Stewart said.  "No one cared more about racers than Bob.  For decades, he's been responsible for shaping short-track racing."

The following is from HoosierTire.com:


Visitation and funeral services are open to the public. Palmer's Funeral Home of Lakeville, Indiana will be taking care of arrangements. You can contact them at 574-784-3119.

Visitation will be Monday, October 1, 2012 from 1:00pm – 4:00pm and 6:00pm – 8:00pm. Visitation will be held at the Newton Center located at 601 N. Michigan Street, Lakeville, IN.

Funeral service will be held Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 10:00am at the Newton Center, Mike Lightfoot officiating. Burial to take place immediately following the service and will be at the St. Joseph Valley Memorial Park Cemetery.

Floral tributes or donations may be sent. Please send donations in Bob's name to Newton Park, 65465 US 31, Lakeville, IN 46536. Newton Park was built for the enrichment of kids. This was very close to Bob's heart and will always be a big part of his legacy.  


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