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Founder of Hoosier Racing Tire dies at 85

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The founder of northern Indiana-based Hoosier Racing Tire that's made tires for NASCAR and other racing series has died.

The Lakeville company 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 told the South Bend Tribune that Newton did so because he blamed many of his race losses on his tires.

Newton's company started supplying tires to NASCAR drivers in the 1980s but more recently has concentrated on the Rolex Sports Car Series, National Hot Rod Association and International Hot Rod Association circuits.

His funeral is scheduled for Tuesday in Lakeville, about 125 miles north of Indianapolis.

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