Robert “Bob” Newton, the visionary behind Hoosier Racing Tire, has died. He was 85.
Bob Newton founded Hoosier Racing Tire in 1957 along with Joyce. They built the first and only manufacturing plant designed exclusively to make tires for motorsports applications. Industry experts called him a master innovator.
In 1957, along with Joyce, Newton began making his own racing tires by re-treading street tires with softer tire compounds. He quickly began selling tires to local racers.
In 1962, Newton inked a deal with Mohawk Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio, that allowed him to design, engineer, compound and oversee production of racing tires. That arrangement lasted until Mohawk closed its doors in 1978.
Newton then built his own tire factory dedicated to producing racing tires. The company was named R & J Mfg. Corp. (Robert and Joyce).
Hoosier continued to expand throughout the 1980s, producing all tires in house by 1985 and breaking into NASCAR's Grand National ranks in the early 1990s. By 1994 it had moved up to Winston Cup, winning four races with Geoff Bodine.
Today, Hoosier Racing Tire is the world’s largest racing tire manufacturer.