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Celebrity Auto Adventures

The Racing Days of Newman, Cruise, and Payton
Posted January 10 2011 11:22 PM by ChristopherCampbell 
Filed under: Hard Driving

Racing with the stars

A new memoir presents the previously untold story of the auto racing careers of Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, and football legend Walter Payton.

Did you happen to see Tom Cruise on the BBC’s Top Gear last year? There’s a reason he was so quick in the Reasonably Priced car.

It all started with a chance meeting with actor Paul Newman at a remote racetrack in West Virginia that marked the beginning of a relationship with author A. J. Graziano that lasted twelve years. In his new memoir Racing with the Stars Graziano reveals how Paul Newman became lead driver for the Bob Sharp Racing Team, which campaigned mostly race prepped Datsun Z-cars.. The gradual progression of Newman's skills as a driver reached a high point for the racing team with the addition of Tom Cruise and Walter Payton as team drivers. From what we’re told, this never-before-told story portrays a side to Newman, Cruise, and Payton on the race track that would surprise, impress, and maybe even shock fans.

This book centers on behind-the-scenes details with highlights on personal relationships that include humorous incidents as well as accounts of triumph and tragedy. Detailed descriptions of races that the celebrities participated in are provided in the book, along with accounts of racing triumphs, accomplishments and failures from some of the most impressive race tracks across the country, from Road Atlanta to Lime Rock to Mid-Ohio to the spectacular Burke Lakefront Airport race track right on the shores of Lake Erie. Also published for the very first time are over 30 never-before-seen pictures of Newman, Cruise, and Payton taken by the author and his wife during the more than a decade of personal friendship that developed between them, the celebrities, and members of the racing team.

Find out more about the book at


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