Founder of Hoosier Racing Tire Bob Newton dies

Bob Newton, Founder of Hoosier Racing Tires in Plymouth, died Wednesday afternoon at his home at the age of 85.

Newton and his wife, Joyce, started Hoosier Racing Tire in 1957.

The company currently ships to over 70 countries and has warehouse distributer's all over the world. Newton was a racer before a businessman, and he saw a need for better tires.

The business has become the world's largest race tire manufacturer and one of the largest employers in Marshall County.

"He was like a father to me," says longtime Hoosier Racing Tire employee Irish Saunders.

Bob Newton's impact in Michiana is great. He's always a man who wanted to give. Newton was the main donor behind Newton Park and the Newton Center. He also started the Little Hoosier 100 race.

And those he's helped along the way have given back. Including reigning Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart, who frequently comes into to town to support the Newton's.

Just two years ago, Stewart presented Bob with a $10,000 check for Newton Park as a way to say thanks for everything.

"I had a chance to work with him for a long time," Stewart said back in 2010. "When I was a young struggling driver, they saw something in me when I needed some breaks in my career. No driver makes it to Indy Car racing or Nascar by just showing up. They had to prove themselves somewhere and that's where the Newton's and Hoosier Racing Tire have been a huge part of that."

Newton is survived by his wife Joyce, four children and many grandchildren and great children.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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