Roger Penske is likely the most famous race team owner at the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He is known as The Captain.
I've often wondered how he has time to be at all the races
considering he has a transportation empire to run.
Penske was born Feb 20, 1937 in Shaker Heights Ohio.
1958 - Made his first professional racing start in Upper
Marlboro MD in a 1957 Corvette.
1961 - Penske was the SCCA National D Modified champion.
He retired from race driving in 1965.
Roger Penske at Watkins Glen in 1961
With Jack Sears after winning at Brands Hatch in 1963
|Highlights From Roger Penske's Racing Career
March 11, 2013
1966 - Penske enters Corvettes at Daytona and Sebring,
winning the GT class in both.
Mark Donohue got the team's first major victory in the U.S.
Road Racing Championship.
I967 - Donohue wins the USRRC title with 6 wins in 7 starts.
He also finishes on the podium in 5 Can-Am races.
1968 - Donohue is the Trans-Am champion after winning 10
of 13 races. He also repeats as USRRC champ.
1969 - Donohue won the Trans-Am championship again.
Donohue finishes 7th at the Indy 500 in Team Penske's
debut at the Brickyard.
1971 - Donohue earns the team's first USAC
Championship race, captures his 3rd Trans-Am title,
finished 3rd in teh Daytona 24 hours and drives in the
Formula One race in Canada.
1972 - Donohue races a AMC Matador in Penske
Racing's first Nascar race - Riverside CA.
Donohue wins the Indianapolis 500, Penske's first Indy win.
1973 - Donohue scores Penske's first Nascar win -
Donohue won the first IROC series title.
Donohue won another Can-Am title.
Gary Bettenhausen won a Champ Car race driving for Penske.
1975 - Donohue set World Closed Course Speed record -
221.160 mph - at Talladega in a Porsche 917-30.
One week later, Donohue was fatally injured in a March
751 F1 car while practicing in Austria. It so happens that
I remember where I was when I heard the sad news, even
though I was just a kid. I thought Donohue was great.
1976 - Penske Racing won their first F1 race with John
Watson at the Austrian GP.
1977 - Penske's Tom Sneva becomes the 1st driver to
officially record a 200 mph lap at Indy.
1979 - Rick Mears wins the Indy 500 from the pole and
goes on to win the CART championship for Penske Racing.
1981 - Mears wins 2nd CART championship.
1982 - Mears takes his 3rd CART title.
1983 - Al Unser Sr. scores Penske's 6th USAC Indy Car
National Championship since 1977.
1984 - Mears wins Indy 500 from pole again.
1985 - Unser edges son Al Jr. by one point in
the CART championship.
Mears returns part-time and wins at Pocono.
Sullivan performs his famous "spin and win" at Indy.
1986 - Penske founds Ilmor Engineering and the team
begins developing the Ilmor Chevrolet Indy engine.
1988 - Penske cars sweep the front row at Indy.
Mears wins in the new Penske PC-17 chassis.
Sullivan wins 4 races and the CART championship.
1991 - Penske Racing South is born and
Penske re-enters Nascar with Rusty Wallace.
Mears wins his 6th Indy 500 pole and 4th race -
Penske's 10th Indy pole and 8th 500 win.
1993 - Emerson Fittipaldi wins his 2nd Indy 500,
his first driving for Penske.
1994 - Al Unser Jr. claims Penske's 10th Indy win using
a now-famous Ilmor/Mercedes-Benz engine that was
developed specifically for Indy in secrecy.
1996 - Due to the split between CART and the IRL,
Penske does not enter the Indy 500 for the first time
2000 - Team Penske adds new drivers Gil de Ferran
and Helio Castroneves, and new president Tim Cindric.
De Ferran wins his 1st CART title.
2001 - Nascar team becomes a 3-car operation with
Wallace, Jeremy Mayfield and Ryan Newman.
De Ferran wins 2nd CART championship.
Castroneves wins the Indy 500.
2002 - Nascar team returns to a 2-car operation.
Newman wins Cup's Rookie of the Year award.
Team Penske moves to the Indy Racing League (IRL).
Castroneves wins his 2nd Indy 500.
2003 - De Ferran wins the Indy 500 and Castroneves
finishes in 2nd place.
De Ferran retires after clinching IndyCar title.
2006 - Sam Hornish Jr. hunts down Marco Andretti on
the final lap at Indy to win by just 0.063 second, the
second-closest finish in the race's history.
2008 - Ryan Newman gives Penske his first Daytona 500 win.
In sports cars, Penske's Porsche RS Spyder scores an
overall win at Sebring to begin 3rd straight championship
2009 - Castronevese wins his 3rd Indy 500 to extend
Pesnke's record to 15 wins.
2010 - Brad Keselowski claims the Nascar Nationwide
Series title as he posts 5 wins and 6 poles while
establishing a new series record with 26 top-five finishes.
2012 - Keselowski wins the Nascar Sprint Cup
championship, a first for Penske.
Roger Penske and Graham Hill
Mark Donohue and Roger Penske
Roger Penske at Indy in 1969
AJ Foyt and Roger Penske in 1974
Tim Cindric and Roger Penske at 2009 Indy 500
Roger Penske celebrates 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup
championship with driver Keselowski
Roger and Kathy Penske
Penske Racing Numbers as of March 2013
17 Indy 500 Poles
15 Indy 500 Wins
12 IndyCar championships
168 IndyCar wins (USAC, CART, IndyCar)
31 Indy drivers have raced a Penske-owned car
2 Trans-Am titles
1 Formula One win
1 NASCAR Sprint Cup title
1 Daytona 500 win
1 24 Hours of Sebring overall win
|Miniature reproductions of the Borg-Warner Trophy,
known as Baby Borgs, are awarded to the winning driver
and team of the Indianapolis 500.
As of 2017, Roger Penske has 16!
Since this page was created, Team Penske has also won:
2014 IndyCar Championship with Will Power
2015 Indy 500 with Juan Montoya
2016 IndyCar Championship with Simon Pagenaud
2017 IndyCar Championship with Josef Newgarden
2018 Indy 500 with Will Power
2018 Nascar Cup Championship with Joey Logano
2018 Brickyard 400 with Brad Keselowski
2019 Indy 500 with Simon Pagenaud
2019 IndyCar Championship with Josef Newgarden
Roger Penske received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian
honor, from President Donald Trump during a ceremony Oct. 24, 2019 in the Oval Office
of the White House.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is reserved for individuals who have made especially
laudable contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world
peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.
Penske built one Chevrolet car dealership in 1965 into the Penske Corporation, a leader
in global transportation services with over $32 billion in revenues. The company employs
64,000 workers around the world.
Penske also has spent considerable time and money to help revitalize Detroit, as his
company is based in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Team Penske has also won Championships in the
NASCAR Xfinity series.
Team Penske also competes in Sportcars and
Nov 4, 2019 - To the great surprise of everyone on the planet (but myself) it was announced that Roger Penske
was going to purchase the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the IndyCar Series from the Hulman George family.
Taking control in 2020, Penske spent millions of dollars to upgrade the facility.