Founder of racing tire company dies at 85

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LAKEVILLE, Ind. (AP) — The founder of an Indiana company that produced tires for NASCAR and other racing series has died.

Hoosier Racing Tire says 85-year-old Robert Newton died Wednesday after dealing with the effects of a stroke he suffered last year.

Newton was a farmer and small-town stock car racer in the 1950s when he started building tires in an old horse barn. Friend Irish Saunders tells the South Bend Tribune (http://bit.ly/PKkDLf ) that Newton did so because he blamed many of his race losses on his tires.

Newton's Lakeville, Ind.-based company started supplying tires to NASCAR drivers in the 1980s but more recently has concentrated on the Rolex Sports Car Series, NHRA and IHRA circuits.

His funeral is scheduled for Tuesday in Lakeville.

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