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Roger Penske Inducted into The Automotive Hall of Fame


Roger Penske, Founder and Chairman of Penske Corporation, was recently inducted into The Automotive Hall of Fame along with automaker Elwood Haynes, former Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo, and industrialist Ratan N. Tata.

“To me, it’s a real honor (to be inducted),” Mr. Penske told Mike Brudenell from The Detroit Free Press. … “But, most of all, it’s about the people who have supported me — my family, my business partners and all my employees. I think that is the most important thing.”

Mr. Penske was inducted for his accomplishments in building a leading international transportation services organization that includes: Penske Automotive Group, Penske Truck Leasing, Penske Logistics, and Team Penske, one of the most successful automotive sports teams in history.

Story Credits:
Video: The Automotive Hall of Fame | Article: Penske Truck Leasing | Quote: Detroit Free Press

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Castroneves and Power Both Lead Team Penske Qualifying


Team Penske came up just short in its pursuit of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach pole position Saturday, but if recent history is any indication, the team will be in prime position for a race victory when the green flag flies.

Teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves both qualified for the Firestone Fast Six, with Power earning a third-place starting position and Castroneves securing a sixth-place starting spot. AJ Allmendinger had the ninth-fastest lap in his group during the first qualifying round and will start 14th on Sunday.

Power, the defending Long Beach race winner, was clocked at 67.3987 around the 11-turn, 1.968-mile circuit in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet. Power unfortunately was unable to record his planned fast lap as the checkered flag flew before he could start his third lap in the Firestone Fast Six.

“Yeah, it was good, obviously, to get to the Fast Six, and then just how qualifying is at the moment. We got caught out at the end there,” said Power, who managed to win the race from a 12th-place starting position in 2012 despite qualifying second when he and the other Chevrolet drivers took 10-grid spot penalties after changing out engines. “Tim (Cindric) came over the radio and said that you’re barely going to make one more lap. I thought he meant fuel, not time, but it was time. So I got to the start of my last lap, and it was checkered flag. But still, I’m happy with third.”

The current IZOD IndyCar Series championship leader, Castroneves turned a lap of 67.9698 in the No. 3 Auto Club of Southern California Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet. The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner has now qualified eighth or better in his last four races at Long Beach.
“We made some adjustments to the Auto Club Team Penske Chevrolet between the sessions today and improved quite a lot,” said Castroneves, who won the 2001 Grand Prix of Long Beach from the pole. “It’s a shame because I felt that I had a better car than sixth. I’m not complaining, being top six is great, but I just want to make sure we get everything we can out of the car because it is so competitive here.”

Allmendinger, in his second race driving the No. 2 Penske Automotive Dallara/Chevrolet, had a fast lap of 1:09.2001 in the first qualifying session.

“Tough day for the No. 2 Penske Automotive Chevrolet,” said Allmendinger, who competed at Long Beach three times previously and recorded a top-10 finish in 2005. “We thought we had the car in a pretty good place going into qualifying but unfortunately I wasn’t able to get out of it what I needed. I know that Will won the race last year from 12th so that gives us some hope that we can move up through the field tomorrow and hopefully be competitive.”

Power, who also won the Grand Prix of Long Beach in 2008, will start inside the second row and alongside Takuma Sato and behind polewinner Dario Franchitti.

“It’s definitely a good starting position,” said Power. “I look for a good, solid race again tomorrow in the Verizon car.”

Sunday’s 80-lap Grand Prix of Long Beach is scheduled to begin at 4:45 p.m. ET with NBC Sports Network coverage beginning at 4 p.m. ET.


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Penske Automotive Acquires Lexus and Toyota Dealerships in Madison, Wisconsin

New Penske Dealership

Penske Automotive Group, Inc., an international automotive retailer, today announced that it has acquired two dealerships, Jon Lancaster Toyota Scion and Lexus of Madison. The acquired dealerships are expected to contribute annualized revenues of approximately $130 million.

Central Region Executive Vice President Whit Ramonat said, “Entering the Madison, Wisconsin, market is an important step in our effort to build scale in the upper Midwest. Coupled with our existing BMW and MINI franchises in Minneapolis, the Toyota and Lexus dealerships in Madison provide an outstanding footprint to leverage our operations and grow our business. We are excited with the opportunity to represent these world-class brands in the Madison market.”

The Toyota dealership is located in east Madison and operates on ten acres with approximately 70,000 square feet of facilities for sales and service, including a Toyota express service center specializing in oil changes and brake repairs. Lexus of Madison is an Elite of Lexus dealership located in west Madison, and operates on nine acres with nearly 45,000 square feet of facilities dedicated to sales and service. Each facility is fully compliant with current OEM corporate identity standards.

Other terms of the transaction were not announced.

About Penske Automotive

Penske Automotive Group, Inc., headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, operates 344 retail automotive franchises, representing 40 different brands and 30 collision repair centers. Penske Automotive, which sells new and previously owned vehicles, finance and insurance products and replacement parts, and offers maintenance and repair services on all brands it represents, has 174 franchises in 18 states and Puerto Rico and 170 franchises located outside the United States, primarily in the United Kingdom. Penske Automotive is a member of the Fortune 500 and Russell 2000 and has approximately 16,000 employees.


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Auto Industry’s future with Obama


The 2012 Presidential election is in the books and those in swing states must be looking forward to the absence of countless campaign ads. However, those with their eyes on electric vehicles and reduced emissions from automobiles may be looking forward to what the President’s second term in office has in store.

So what of the future of the auto industry? Perhaps the initiative with the most immediate impact is the continued pursuit of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard of 54.5 miles per gallon for cars by 2025. Some dealers have voiced displeasure with the added price of making these vehicles more fuel efficient. Additionally, a new challenge is ensuring those standards are actually met and automakers are reporting fuel economy numbers properly – a reality recently experienced by Kia and Hyundai. Still automakers in general approve of having clear standards to which they can refer.

The President’s re-election should see the returned attention to electric vehicles as well. This year, Obama proposed an increase in the tax credit for electric vehicles, from $7,500 up to $10,000, in the pursuit of 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

Another area where regulation will be pushed is in vehicle safety, where the Obama administration will seek to require all new vehicles to have a backup camera by 2014. Other regulations may be pursued in the area of navigation and advanced digital displays, and the safety impact of this rapidly progressing technology. With no reelection to concern him, Obama will likely double down on efforts to see through these initiatives in fuel economy and electric vehicles.


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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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Team Penske Back to Defend Title at Sao Paulo



Drivers: Helio Castroneves (No. 3 Itaipava Team Penske), Ryan Briscoe (No. 6 Penske Logistics) and Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske)

Event: Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle

Streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil

(2.6-mile temporary street circuit)

When: Qualifying – Saturday, April 30 at 2:00 p.m. ET (Aired at 6:00 p.m. ET on Versus)

Race (75 laps) – Sunday, May 1 at 12:00 p.m. ET (Live on Versus)

TV/Radio: Versus-TV/IMS Radio Network and XM Channel 145 and Sirius Channel 211

Back in Brazil: Team Penske returns as the defending champions at Sao Paulo after Will Power drove the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Honda to victory in last year’s inaugural IZOD IndyCar Series event in the city. In a wild race on the wide-open street circuit, Power passed Ryan Hunter-Reay for the lead with four laps remaining and captured the win in the series’ season-opening race of 2010.

Scenes from Sao Paulo: In addition to Power’s victory, Sao Paulo native Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe also had interesting races last season in Brazil. All three drivers were involved in a multi-car accident at the start of the race and each dropped back in the field before making their way back up front. Starting eighth, Briscoe actually led four laps and looked to be on his way to victory late in the race before he made contact with the tire barrier. He returned to action and did finish the race in the 14th position. Castroneves, competing in front of his hometown fans, had to pit early for repairs and got caught out by a short rain delay before rallying to finish ninth.

After Three Rounds: Entering this weekend’s race, Team Penske is ranked second, eighth and 14th in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings. Power, who won Round 2 in Alabama, trails series leader Dario Franchitti by just seven points in the championship rankings, while Briscoe is eighth after a strong runner-up effort in Long Beach. Castroneves fell to 14th in points after a tough result in Long Beach that saw his car make contact with Power’s machine late in the race when both drivers were running inside the top-five.

Partnership Pride: Team Penske is proud to welcome several new sponsors to its family in 2011. Joining Power’s No. 12 car team full-season primary sponsor, Verizon, in the Team Penske stable this season, Brazilian partner Itaipava joins the team for Sao Paulo and will compete as the primary sponsor of the No. 3 car driven by Castroneves this weekend. Penske Logistics will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 6 car driven by Briscoe at Sao Paulo. Team Penske also welcomes Shell-Pennzoil, IZOD, Guidepoint Systems, PPG and Penske Truck Rental as primary sponsors in 2011 along with new associate sponsors Meijer, Coca-Cola and Comfort Revolution.

Chasing 200: If Team Penske wins the pole Saturday in qualifying at Sao Paulo, it will mark the 200th all-time Indy car pole position for the most successful team in the history of North American open-wheel racing.

Remarkable Road Record: Team Penske excels at street course circuits. Castroneves, Briscoe and Power have all earned temporary road course victories over the last three seasons and the team overall has produced 22 poles and 12 wins at road/street course venues since 2007. This weekend’s race marks the fourth consecutive event held at a street or road course to start the 2011 season. The next race – the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 – begins a stretch of five consecutive oval races on the series schedule.

Power’s Pole Prowess: Power will be looking to capture his fourth consecutive pole position to start the season during Saturday’s qualifying session at Sao Paulo. Power qualified fifth last year at Sao Paulo to earn his worst starting spot on a road or street course in 2010. Power’s three consecutive poles are the most by a Team Penske driver to start the season. Mario Andretti won six consecutive poles to begin the 1966 USAC season while Bobby Unser earned six straight to start the 1972 USAC campaign.

Legacy of Success: Team Penske continues to set the standard of success in open-wheel racing. Throughout its storied history, the team has posted 154 race wins, 12 National Championships and 199 pole positions. In addition, Penske Racing has won the Indianapolis 500-mile race 15 times. Across all of its disciplines, Penske Racing teams have produced 333 major race wins, 398 pole positions and 23 National Championships.



Helio Castroneves: “Racing in Brazil is always special for me and this weekend I am hoping for a great result for Team Penske. Being able to race in my home country in front of all the passionate Brazilian fans is certainly something very special to me. I look forward to seeing friends and family while I am down there and I feel really good going into this race, as our No. 3 Itaipava Team Penske car looks like a winner to me.”

Ryan Briscoe: “I’m looking forward to Round 4 of the IZOD IndyCar Series in Brazil. I think that this track can provide some of the most exciting racing with its long straights and heavy braking zones, which is great. The No. 6 Penske Logistics car has been really fast this season and I feel good going into this event. My main goal is to carry our momentum from Long Beach as we try to make up points in the championship race.”

Will Power: “I think this has the potential to be kind of a crazy weekend. It tends to rain a bit in Brazil, so track time may factor into the equation. I’m excited to race in Sao Paulo. The circuit has plenty of places to pass so if you have a fast car you will be able to get to the front. Our Verizon Team Penske car has been fast all year long and I am going to do my best to qualify well and hopefully get a good result.”


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Briscoe’s Runner-Up Finish Leads Team Penske at Long Beach


LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 17, 2011) – Ryan Briscoe led Team Penske on his own personal charge back into the IZOD IndyCar Series championship race Sunday with a runner-up finish in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Briscoe brought the No. 6 Penske Truck Rental Dallara/Honda home in second place behind winner Mike Conway, as he helped wash away the memories of two disappointing results to start the 2011 season.

“This feels so good,” said Briscoe, who entered the race weekend ranked 23rd in the series standings and wound up seventh in the championship after the runner-up result. “For a while I thought we were going to get the win today, but Conway was lightning fast. I really had nothing for him at the end. It’s an amazing day and an exciting weekend.”

While Briscoe celebrated his best result of the young season, his teammates recovered from an unfortunate accident. Will Power and Helio Castroneves collided on a restart late in the race, after both drivers spent most of the afternoon running inside the top-five. Power, who won his third consecutive pole to start the season on Saturday, fell back in the field after suffering contact from Castroneves on a lap 66 double-file restart. Power rallied in the closing laps to finish 10th. Though he fell to second in the championship, Power only trails Dario Franchitti by seven points in the early race for the IZOD IndyCar Series crown.

“The Verizon car was strong today,” said Power, who led 29 laps in the race. “It’s definitely not the finish we wanted. I’m not really sure what happened on the restart. I got hit from behind by Helio (Castroneves) but sometimes that’s what happens in racing – especially close racing like this with the double-file restarts. We drove back to finish 10th and made the most of it. It wasn’t a great day for points, but Verizon Team Penske will keep working hard and move forward.”

Castroneves finished 12th in the No. 3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske machine after recovering from the dustup in Turn 1. With Sunday’s result, Castroneves fell to 12th in the point standings.

“First of all, the Auto Club Team Penske crew did a great job today,” said Castroneves. “To be running inside the top-five for most of the race was just amazing. As far as the restart, I’m really not sure what to say. I feel terrible for Will (Power). I wasn’t even trying to pass, but we just made contact. Will is my teammate, and of course you just can’t take each other out. It’s just very unfortunate and I have to say I’m sorry to the team. Good job to Ryan, he deserved at least a second-place finish today. And congratulations to (Mike) Conway on the win.”

Briscoe, who was involved in accidents that weren’t his fault in the first two races of the season, was fastest in practice at Long Beach in Friday and Saturday, but struggled in qualifying and started 12th in Sunday’s race. He took the lead after his race strategist, Roger Penske, brought him to the pits before a full-course caution slowed the field.
“Another great call by Roger Penske,” said Briscoe, who led a race-high 35 laps on Sunday. “It just felt good to get out and lead some laps and be back in contention today. We got a good result and are back on the podium. It’s a huge confidence boost for myself and all of the crew guys.”

The IZOD IndyCar Series resumes May 1 with the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The event represents the last of four consecutive road/street course races to start the season before activities begin surrounding the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500 in May.

[Source: PenskeRacing]

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Power Claims Second in IZOD IndyCar Series Opener


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 27, 2011) – Verizon Team Penske’s Will Power battled back from a difficult start, that also affected his teammates, to finish second Sunday in the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg – the 2011 season opener for the IZOD IndyCar Series.

The defending champion at the 1.8-mile St. Petersburg street circuit, Power started from the pole position but was shuffled back during a mishap on an early restart during the 100-lap race. He fell back to seventh place but battled back to finish second behind Dario Franchitti.

Meanwhile, Team Penske teammates Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves also saw their cars damaged due to contact at the start of the race, but after making repairs, both drivers returned to action and finished in 18th and 20th place, respectively.

Power’s effort was a solid start to the 2011 season for the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Honda team, which finished a close second to Franchitti in last season’s championship standings. “I’m just glad to get good points in the first race,” said Power, who won the pole Saturday and produced a victory from the pole last season at St. Pete. After his car was hit from behind early in the race, Power fell back in the field but he recovered to post his ninth podium result in his last 10 road or street course races.

“It was a very interesting start today,” added Power, the series’ defending Mario Andretti Road Course champion. “Dario Franchitti got me fair and square at the beginning. When we had all of the restarts after caution periods, we got hit hard and (the car) went into neutral. We dropped to seventh position but were able to get back up to second again. I was in survival mode after getting hit. I struggled a lot on the black (Firestone tires) today and I was trying to hold (Tony) Kanaan off as he was hounding on me from behind.  It was a good start to the season for Verizon Team Penske.”

Team Penske’s other two entries battled hard to recover from early damage suffered in a first-lap incident that claimed several cars. Briscoe’s No. 6 IZOD Team Penske Dallara/Honda suffered suspension damage and lost a portion of its front wing early in the race, and the resulting repairs left Briscoe five laps down to the race leaders. He made up several spots on track before taking the checkered flag in 18th place.

“It was a frustrating day today for the IZOD Team Penske team,” said Briscoe. “It’s a shame because we had one of the quickest cars on the track. The guys made some adjustments to the car last night, and it paid off because we were fastest in the morning warm-up session. Overall, it’s a shame because IZOD has come on board this year, and I wish we could’ve had a better result for them today. It’s not the finish we wanted today but we’ll come back ready to win some races.”

Castroneves’ No. 3 Guidepoint Systems Team Penske Dallara/Honda was also involved in the melee in the first turn. The team was forced to the garage area to repair the front left suspension before Castroneves returned to the track 15 laps behind. The three-time Indianapolis 500 champion also fought back to salvage a top-20 result.

“Our Guidepoint Systems car was fast today after the first-lap incident – you could see it in our lap times,” Castroneves said.”The guys did an incredible job putting the car back together after the left front suspension damage. The Team Penske guys were amazing. As far as the incident, I’ll have to look and see what happened, but it seems like I locked up the rear on the car. It’s very disappointing, but we never gave up and we know we’ll have better results next race.”

The IZOD IndyCar Series resumes April 9 at Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, Ala. Team Penske returns as defending champion of the race as Castroneves won in the inaugural event at the challenging road course in 2010.


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