Roger Penske


Penske welcomes Chevy back to IndyCar with roaring start


Midway through Sunday’s Izod IndyCar Series race at Barber Motorsports Park, crew chief Tim Cindric called driver Will Power to the pits. At the time, Power was fifth. He wasn’t low on fuel and his tires weren’t shot, so the call was firmly strategic. Power eventually found himself leading and winning the race, a consequence of Cindric’s clever and timely decision.

These days, “clever” and “timely” are buzz words for Roger Penske’s IndyCar team, which helped orchestrate the reintroduction of Chevrolet to the series with unforeseen success. Wins in the first two races have Team Penske ahead of its rivals while helping Chevy make amends for an uncomfortable series exit six years ago.

The series has ushered in an era of new engines and chassis with two unpredictable, entertaining races. The adage of “What’s good for Penske is good for IndyCar” has been turned sideways: What’s good for IndyCar is strategy, unpredictability and unusually competitive racing. So far, that’s also been good for Team Penske.

MORE: Timeline of Roger Penske and Chevrolet
STANDINGS: Izod IndyCar Series points leaders

“The saying actually should be ‘What’s good for IndyCar is good for Penske,’ ” said Cindric, also team president. “We will only be successful if the series is successful, and so far this change has been good for everyone.”

When Honda, which in previous years had teamed with Penske’s Ilmor Engineering to supply the IndyCar Series with engines, chose to go in-house to develop and build the new turbocharged V-6 engines, Penske approached General Motors executives Tom Stephens and Mark Reuss about teaming with Ilmor to bring Chevy back to IndyCar. racing.

The result was an engine that appeared to be stout, although the Chevy and Ilmor engineers weren’t certain until the first practice before the March 25 opener in St. Petersburg, Fla.

They did fine. Penske’s Helio Castroneves raced from seventh to victory, signaling an early edge to Penske and Chevy. On Sunday in Birmingham, Ala., Power backed that up.

“Until you get on the track and face everyone, you can’t tell where you’re at,” said Jim Campbell, GM’s vice president of performance vehicles and motor sports. “After the first two races, we’re excited about where we’re at.”

Before Castroneves’ win at St. Petersburg, Chevrolet hadn’t won an IndyCar race since Tomas Scheckter of Panther Racing on June 11, 2005. Chevy left the series in after that season.
Beyond the success of the new Chevy are Penske’s other ventures related to IndyCar racing. His Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, dormant since 2008, will resume this season with Chevrolet as the title sponsor. Last week, Castroneves helped announce plans for a street race in Houston’s Reliant Park in 2013 that will be title-sponsored by Shell, the primary sponsor on Castroneves’ car.
Chevy and Honda have been close in the first two races — Honda-backed Scott Dixon is second in the driver standings after two second-place finishes, and Honda had three of the top five Sunday — but Penske’s Chevys have been just a tick faster.

Power showed that Sunday, doing so in an entertaining race on a track once thought to be adverse to action.

“I think the key to having a good series is having a lot of passing and action,” Power said. “We’re there to put on a show, and that’s what we’ve been doing. We have a new product that’s going well, and we need to keep it going in that direction.”

While the look of the new Dallara chassis bothers some fans, the true test — its performance — is the surprise of the season. The cars sound better and race better, and — thanks to new tire compounds from Firestone that degrade more rapidly — strategy has returned to IndyCar’s road and street races.

“The one thing that was loud and clear at Barber was the architecture of the cars and the work that Firestone has done has developed a much better show,” Cindric said. “Everything makes more sense. There is strategy and passing and unpredictability. … In the best times of IndyCar road and street racing, that’s what we had. Barber showed that you don’t really have to have all different cars and engines. You just have to have the right formula.”

It never hurts, though, to bring fresh players to the game.

For the six seasons while it was the sole engine supplier, Honda lobbied for competition. After the government bailout resuscitated GM, its leaders chose to take a risk and return to a form of racing that itself has been struggling.

“Someone made the commitment that they would invest in the brand,” Penske said. “There’s no question that they’ve not only committed to (IndyCar) from an engine perspective, they’re going to be active in participating in the race in Detroit. The nice thing is from top to bottom within General Motors in North America, motor sports has support.”

Perhaps another adage has been turned sideways: It’s not always true that what’s good for motor sports is good for Detroit. Sometimes it’s the other way around.


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Roger Penske to be honored on “Legends Day” at Indianapolis


Iconic Indianapolis 500 team owner Roger Penske will be saluted Saturday, May 26 during “Legends Day Honoring Roger Penske” at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 96th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 27 will mark the 40th anniversary of the first Indianapolis 500 victory for Penske. Mark Donohue drove Penske’s Sunoco McLaren to victory in the 56th Indianapolis 500 on May 27, 1972. Penske-owned cars have earned 15 race victories and 16 poles – both records by a wide margin – in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

“The Indianapolis 500 and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway have meant so much to me personally as well as our race teams,” Penske said. “I am honored to celebrate the anniversary of our first Indy 500 win with the fans on May 26, and we look forward to an exciting race weekend.”

Penske will participate in a question-and-answer session with fans May 26 on the Coca-Cola Stage in the Pagoda Plaza, followed by a brief autograph session.

Other featured events on “Legends Day Honoring Roger Penske” will include the annual Public Drivers’ Meeting on pit road adjacent to the Tower Terrace grandstand, autograph sessions with the 2012 Indianapolis 500 starting field of 33 drivers and former Indy 500 drivers, and a huge Indianapolis 500 memorabilia show featuring vendors from the United States, Europe and Australia.

Admission to IMS on “Legends Day Honoring Roger Penske” will be $10 for adults, with children 12 and under free when accompanied by an adult.

“It’s fitting to pay tribute to Roger Penske, one of the true icons of the Indianapolis 500, on the 40th anniversary of his first victory at Indianapolis,” said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and chief executive officer. “His teams and drivers have set an incredible standard for excellence and professionalism at the Speedway, and Roger has become a landmark figure of the world’s greatest race. This will be a memorable day for fans and everyone who loves the Speedway in May to honor Roger.”

Best known for his multiple Indianapolis 500 victories with Rick Mears (1979, 1984, 1988, 1991) and Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002, 2009), Penske also has scored “500” victories with Donohue (1972), Bobby Unser (1981), Danny Sullivan (1985), Al Unser (1987), Emerson Fittipaldi (1993), Al Unser Jr. (1994), Gil de Ferran (2003) and Sam Hornish Jr. (2006).

Penske Racing holds nearly every record in Indy car racing, with 159 victories, 203 pole positions and 12 national championships.


Source: Racer Global Racing News. Fast

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Roger Penske is Looking to Hire…

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It is a clear indication that economic times are turning upward when Roger Penske, owner of the second-largest auto group in the U.S. is looking for qualified candidates to join the Penske team.

Penske said, “We’re going to increase people,” in his nonchalant dignified style. “With the growth, we need more technicians and we need more salespeople.”

Due to the expected sales spurt in 2011, Penske Automotive has opened the doors to greater opportunities as they anticipate to seriously expand their team of skilled service technicians. Talented technicians are retiring much faster these days, as new technicians with little experience enter the work force eager to gain experience.

Yet as industry consultants urged caution regarding dealer groups expanding too quickly, dealers must control their gains in order to avoid rapid expansion and monitor their unrealistic sales expectations for the during quarter of 2012. Ah, but dealers are such optimists, you say. I agree, but the good ones are also pragmatists and realists.

This week Penske Automotive reported profits growing over 67 percent in the fourth quarter and hit a record $177 million for the year. Later this spring and summer, Penske Automotive is expected to open two dealerships in California, but it has not  been confirmed.

“We’re adding shifts to areas where we don’t want to expand a facility,” Penske says. “You’re going to try to get utilization from your existing people first.”

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No. 22 Dodge Fetches 600K for Paralyzed Veterans of America at Barrett-Jackson

No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger
No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger
No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger

On Thursday January 19, 2012 Penske Racing’s No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger was auctioned off at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale, AZ. The car that won the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway in 2010 hauled in a total of $600k from 3 separate donors. All of the proceeds were donated to Paralyzed Veterans of America. Team owner Roger Penske and Brad Keselowski were both in attendance to see the car that helped Keselowski win his first race at Penske, sold to the highest bidder. Paralyzed Veterans of America is an organization dedicated to helping veterans live full and rich lives by providing them with the resources they need. PVA assists veterans with everything from obtaining healthcare and jobs to engaging in adaptive sports and recreational activities. Here is what Roger Penske had to say about working with the PVA organization:

“The Paralyzed Veterans are not only good partners of Penske Racing, but they are partners of America’s service men and women.” Penske continued,  “They are a group of people that provide our freedom. After their service, serious injury shouldn’t stop them from living the full, rewarding lives they deserve.”

The Penske Automotive family is proud to have the opportunity to contribute to such a great cause.

Click here to support Paralyzed Veterans of America today!

Information contained in this article courtesy of:

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AJ Allmendinger Newest Member of the Penske Racing Dynasty

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The Newest Member of the Penske Racing Dynasty

On December 21, 2011 Penske Racing announced that AJ Allmendinger would be driving the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge in the 2012 Sprint Cup Series. Allmendinger joins a juggernaut in Penske Racing with a rich history of winning championships. Racing icons like Rusty Wallace, Mario Andretti, and Rick Maers are just a few of the notable performers to come before Allmendinger.  So what does Allmendinger think about joining the team?

“I am really excited about the opportunity to join Penske Racing and drive the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge in 2012. I have always admired Roger Penske and the way his teams compete and win in every series where they race. It is a privilege for me to represent such iconic and respected brands as Shell and Pennzoil, AAA and Dodge. I am honored to join Penske Racing and I will do my very best to continue to build on the standard of excellence established across the organization.”

At 30 years old Allmendinger brings a promising resume to the table. 2011 was a successful season for the California native that saw him finish 15th in the series standings among other achievements while driving the No. 43 car for Richard Petty Motorsports.

Allmendinger Issues a Statement To Penske Racing Fans

Here is what Roger Penske had to say about the new acquisition:

“AJ is a very talented and motivated driver and we believe he will be a terrific fit with our team. He has shown great promise and consistent results on the track over the last few seasons and working with Todd and the Shell-Pennzoil Dodge team will allow him to take the next step and compete for race wins and a spot in the Chase in 2012.”

For more on the newest member of the Penske Racing team visit:

Click here to check out AJ Allmendinger’s personal website.

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San Diego Student Award $12,000 Scholarship

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Brendan Cotter, student at Universal Technical Institute (UTI) in Rancho Cucamonga, is one of two recipients of the Roger Penske Outstanding Student Award.

Cotter said, “I don’t know what to say. I’m blown away. I feel very fortunate.” The Roger Penske Outstanding Student Award is presented twice a year to two deserving students, issuing $12,000 scholarships. The other 10 campus finalists receive $500 cash awards.





Why did Cotter receive the award? Cotter, a new father and former high school teacher received the award due to his outstanding academic performance amongst his peers at UTI. “He truly exemplifies the type of student the award is designed to recognize,” said Veronica Meury, Vice President and executive director of UTI Foundation.

Even with the birth of his child, Cotter has not missed one day of class, named Student of Course 15 times and has maintained a 4.0 GPA. Cotter is well underway to completing the remainder of his diesel program education at UTI.

Congratulations to Brendan Cotter from The Penske Automotive Team. 





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Penske, Chevy Share More than 50 Years of Racing & Selling Cars

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Roger Penske had a choice to make.

It was February 1965 and the then general manager of a Philadelphia Chevrolet dealership had been offered the opportunity to become the store’s owner. 
But in order for that to happen, Penske would have to give up what drew him to Chevy in the first place: racing.

His decision back then — to end his race-car driving days and put on his dealer hat — has ended up turning into what has been a decades-long career with Chevrolet, one where Penske has not only become a dealership mogul, but a titan in the racing business, as well.

Penske talked about this decision and more in the latest Faces of GM blog entry.

“I had to go Detroit, and Bunky Knudsen at that point was general manager of Chevrolet. He said, ’Roger, we’re not going to have race drivers as dealers, so you have to make a decision,” Penske explained of his 1965 experience.

“Are you going to be a race driver or a businessman?’ That’s probably the best advice I’ve ever had, because I decided no more racing – let’s become a dealer. That’s when I really started my career with Chevrolet, and I never turned back,” he continued.

Of course, Penske’s passion for Chevy had been ignited eight years before getting the store ownership offer when he bought his first Corvette, a 1957 competition model. Penske began racing and picking up wins.

In 1963, Penske met George McKean, a Philly Chevy dealer, and took him up on his offer to be the store’s general manager.

And then, Penske’s career as a racecar driver hit a crossroads two years later when McKean asked if he wanted to take over as owner.

Penske may have given up driving cars in races, but he didn’t drop the sport entirely.

He built a TransAm race team back in the 1960s, and racing legend Mark Donohue was his driver. By the end of the 1980s, Penske was part of an Indianapolis 500 championship.

GM president Lloyd Reuss had approached Penske about crafting an engine to compete in the famous race, and in 1988, they got their chance with driver Rick Mears steering the way to victory.

“The best moment I had with Chevrolet was winning that first one, the first Indy 500 with the Chevy motor with Rick Mears in 1988,” Penske said.

The Penske-Chevy combo won that day and captured other Indy 500 crowns, all part of 15 races it won during its IndyCar series tenure that eventually came to an end.

But things appear to be getting revved back up for Penske and IndyCar. His company and Chevy teamed up with Ilmor Engineering to build a new engine, which is currently undergoing testing. It will run in next year’s IZOD IndyCar series.

It’s just the latest in what been a decades-long relationship with Chevy that touches both the dealership and racing industries. In fact, he has had ties with Chevy for more than half of the brand’s existence.

“The brand is on the rise. I can see it with the cars that are available for us to sell in the showrooms. It’s never been better,” Penske said.

Looking forward, he added: “I can tell you my goal is to put that Chevy back in the winner’s circle.”


Source: Faces of GM

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Racing Legend Signs Opus

Racing Legend Signs Opus

It was a real honor and great gesture when Roger Penske dropped by the Ferrari Store in New York to see for himself The Official Ferrari Opus.

Roger Penske has contributed to racing at so many levels: as a winning driver he earned the title Sports Illustrated SCCA Driver of the Year, as a team leader winning the Indianapolis 500 and later many NASCAR races. His knowledge and business accumin has won him seats on several boards and owns some of the most successful leasing and automobile dealerships in the United States.

Roger’s team at the Penske Wynn dealership played hosts to The Official Ferrari Opus in Las Vegas and arranged for the USA Diamante Edition to be photographed with an equally unique 1957 Scaglietti Berlinetta with a stainless steel roof and alloy body.


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