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(Reuters) - Successful auto racing team owner Carl Haas, a former business partner with the late Hollywood actor Paul Newman, has died at the age of 86, his official website (www.haasauto.com) reported on Thursday.

Haas, whose teams won 16 championships and more than 140 races over four decades in Can-Am, Formula One, NASCAR and IndyCar, died at his home surrounded by family on June 29.

Scotland's Dario Franchitti, a four-time IndyCar Series champion, was among a host of big names in motor racing who paid tribute to Haas on Thursday.

Franchitti tweeted: "Rest in peace Carl Haas. A legendary owner, a hard business man with a heart of gold. Hilariously eccentric, we'll never see his like again."


Haas created and co-owned Newman Haas Racing with Newman and Mike Lanigan, a team that became one of the most successful in Indy Car from 1983-2011 where Mario Andretti spent the last 11 years of his illustrious racing career.

He previously ran a Formula One team during the 1980s and a NASCAR team in the 1990s while he operated the Milwaukee Mile race track and the Houston Grand Prix race from 1998-2001.

Haas, known for his love of cigars, earned him a place on the '50 Newsmakers of the Half-Century' list compiled by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association in 2004.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)