LAKEVILLE -- The sport of auto racing lost a true legend Wednesday with the death of Robert "Bob" Newton, founder and owner of Hoosier Racing Tire.
A company spokesperson confirmed to WSBT on Wednesday night that Newton had died at the age of 85.
According to the company's website, Newton and his wife, Joyce, founded Hoosier Tire in 1957 and it has grown to become the largest manufacturer of racing tires in the world.
The Newtons opened a factory in Plymouth in 1979 under the name of R&J Manufacturing Corp. (for Robert and Joyce). Later the name was changed to Hoosier Tire & Rubber Co.
Hoosier Tire gained worldwide notoriety in 1980 when it began producing tires for highly successful cars in NASCAR's Winston Cup (now Sprint Cup) series.
Newton also was a local philanthropist, having donated the land for Lakeville's Newton Park, a complex for youth baseball, softball and soccer.
Details on funeral arrangements will be announced later.