Roger Penske

Last updated
Roger Penske
Roger Penske - Carb Day 2015 - Stierch 1.jpg
Penske at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Carb Day for the 2015 Indianapolis 500
Born (1937-02-20) 20 February 1937 (age 82)
Shaker Heights, Ohio, U.S.
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality Flag of the United States.svg American
Active years 19611962
TeamsNon-works Cooper and Lotus
Championships 0
Wins 0
Career points0
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First entry 1961 United States Grand Prix
Last entry 1962 United States Grand Prix
1994 Indy 500 winning Penske PC23 driven by Al Unser, Jr PenskePC23.jpg
1994 Indy 500 winning Penske PC23 driven by Al Unser, Jr
Penske in 2005 Roger Penske 2005.jpg
Penske in 2005

Roger Searle Penske (born February 20, 1937) is an American businessman and entrepreneur involved in professional auto racing and formerly a professional auto racing driver himself. He is most famous for his ownership of Team Penske, DJR Team Penske, the Penske Corporation, and other automotive-related businesses.

Team Penske American auto racing team

Team Penske is an American professional motorsports organization which has teams involved in open wheel, stock car, and sports car racing. These teams currently compete in the NTT IndyCar Series; the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series; and the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, IMSA, and WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Debuting at the 1966 24 Hours of Daytona, the organization has also competed in various other types of professional racing such as Can Am, Trans Am and Formula One. Altogether, Team Penske has earned over 500 victories in all of auto racing. Team Penske is a division of Penske Corporation, and is owned and chaired by Roger Penske. The team president is Tim Cindric.

DJR Team Penske

DJR Team Penske is Australia's oldest motor racing team competing in the Supercars Championship. Founded by Dick Johnson, the team's drivers have won eight Australian Touring Car Championship titles and the team has taken three victories in Australia's premier race, the Bathurst 1000. The Gold Coast based team campaigns two Mustangs s in the Supercars Championship, one bearing Dick Johnson's long standing racing number 17. Fabian Coulthard and Scott McLaughlin are the team's current drivers.

Penske Corporation

Penske Corporation is an American diversified transportation services company based in Bloomfield Township, Oakland County, Michigan. Auto racing legend Roger Penske serves as chairman of the privately held company, and Rob Kurnick as president. The Penske Corporation opened the Penske Racing Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, inside of the Penske Auto-mall in late of 2017.


Sports Illustrated named him Sports Car Club of America Driver of the Year in 1961. After retiring from driving a few years later, he created one of the most successful teams in IndyCar Series and NASCAR racing. He is the most successful owner in the Indianapolis 500 with 17 victories. He is known by his nickname of "The Captain". [1] In addition, Penske serves as a race strategist for his IndyCar team, currently for driver Will Power. [2]

<i>Sports Illustrated</i> American sports magazine

Sports Illustrated (SI) is an American sports magazine owned by Meredith Corporation. First published in August 1954, it has over 3 million subscribers and is read by 23 million people each week, including over 18 million men.

Sports Car Club of America American automobile club

The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) is an American automobile club and sanctioning body supporting road racing, rallying, and autocross in the United States. Formed in 1944, it runs many programs for both amateur and professional racers.

The IndyCar Series, currently known as the NTT IndyCar Series under sponsorship, is the premier level of open-wheel racing in North America. Its parent company began in 1996 as the Indy Racing League (IRL), which was created by then Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony George as a competitor to CART. In 2008, the IndyCar Series merged with the Champ Car World Series. The series is self-sanctioned by IndyCar.

Penske is a corporate director at General Electric and was chairman of Super Bowl XL in Detroit, Michigan. He was previously on the board of The Home Depot and Delphi Automotive before resigning to chair the Detroit Super Bowl Committee. He has an estimated net worth of $1.83 billion as of 2018. [3]

General Electric American multinational conglomerate corporation

General Electric Company (GE) is an American multinational conglomerate incorporated in New York and headquartered in Boston. As of 2018, the company operates through the following segments: aviation, healthcare, power, renewable energy, digital industry, additive manufacturing, venture capital and finance, lighting, and oil and gas.

Super Bowl XL 2006 editon of the Super Bowl

Super Bowl XL was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Seattle Seahawks and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Pittsburgh Steelers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2005 season. The Steelers defeated the Seahawks by the score of 21–10. The game was played on February 5, 2006 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.

Detroit Largest city in Michigan

Detroit is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Michigan, the largest United States city on the United States–Canada border, and the seat of Wayne County. The municipality of Detroit had a 2017 estimated population of 673,104, making it the 23rd-most populous city in the United States. The metropolitan area, known as Metro Detroit, is home to 4.3 million people, making it the second-largest in the Midwest after the Chicago metropolitan area. Regarded as a major cultural center, Detroit is known for its contributions to music and as a repository for art, architecture and design.

Early life and education

Penske was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio in 1937. [4] His father, Jay, was a successful corporate executive for a metal fabrication company and encouraged his son to become an entrepreneur. [5] As a teenager he bought older cars, repaired them and sold them at a profit from his family's home in Cleveland, Ohio. [6] Penske is a 1959 graduate of Lehigh University. [7]

Shaker Heights, Ohio City in Ohio, United States

Shaker Heights is a city in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States. As of the 2010 Census, the city population was 28,448. Shaker Heights is an inner-ring streetcar suburb of Cleveland, abutting the eastern edge of the city's limits. In July 1911, a petition by property owners was successful in detaching a long strip of land from the south of Cleveland Heights, to be named Shaker Village. In November 1911, the voters of Shaker Village formed Shaker Heights Village, which was incorporated in January 1912.

Lehigh University university in Pennsylvania

Lehigh University is a private research university in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It was established in 1865 by businessman Asa Packer. Its undergraduate programs have been coeducational since the 1971–72 academic year. As of 2014, the university had 4,904 undergraduate students and 2,165 graduate students.

Racing career

Starting in the late 1950s, Penske purchased, raced and sold race cars, and was successful both financially and on the track. Penske made his first professional racing start at the now-abandoned Marlboro Motor Raceway in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

Marlboro Motor Raceway

Marlboro Motor Raceway (MMR) is a now-defunct motorsports park located in Prince George's County, just outside Upper Marlboro, Maryland. MMR closed after the 1969 season and local Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) racing moved to the more advanced Summit Point Motorsports Park due to safety concerns and issues with MMR's management. The remains of the track are still visible from U.S. Route 301 and the entire track layout can still be seen in modern satellite imagery.

Upper Marlboro, Maryland Town in Maryland, United States

Upper Marlboro, officially the Town of Upper Marlboro, is the seat of Prince George's County, Maryland in the United States. The population within the town limits was 631 at the 2010 U.S. Census, although Greater Upper Marlboro is many times larger.

Maryland State of the United States of America

Maryland is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east. The state's largest city is Baltimore, and its capital is Annapolis. Among its occasional nicknames are Old Line State, the Free State, and the Chesapeake Bay State. It is named after the English queen Henrietta Maria, known in England as Queen Mary.

By 1960, he was a well-known race car driver ( Sports Illustrated SCCA Driver of the Year).[ citation needed ] He competed in two Formula One Grands Prix, and won a NASCAR Pacific Coast Late Model race at Riverside in 1963. He never ran the Indianapolis 500: he was offered a rookie test at Indianapolis, but turned it down for business reasons; rookie Mario Andretti stepped in for Penske to take that test.

Mario Andretti Italian-American racing driver

Mario Gabriele Andretti is an Italian-born American former racing driver, one of the most successful Americans in the history of the sport. He is one of only two drivers to have won races in Formula One, IndyCar, World Sportscar Championship and NASCAR. He also won races in midget cars, and sprint cars. During his career, Andretti won the 1978 Formula One World Championship, four IndyCar titles, and IROC VI. To date, he remains the only driver ever to win the Indianapolis 500 (1969), Daytona 500 (1967) and the Formula One World Championship, and, along with Juan Pablo Montoya, the only driver to have won a race in the NASCAR Cup Series, Formula One, and an Indianapolis 500. No American has won a Formula One race since Andretti's victory at the 1978 Dutch Grand Prix. Andretti had 109 career wins on major circuits.

Penske continued racing until 1965, when he retired as a driver, to concentrate on his first Chevrolet dealership in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. [8]

Racing teams

Roger Penske was inaugurated into the Wall of Fame at Sonoma Raceway in 2015 Roger Penske - Sonoma Raceway Wall of Fame - 2015 - Stierch.jpg
Roger Penske was inaugurated into the Wall of Fame at Sonoma Raceway in 2015

Penske Racing debuted in 1966 at the 24 Hours of Daytona, [9] after Penske had retired from race driving. His team first competed in the Indianapolis 500 in 1969, winning that event in 1972 with driver Mark Donohue, and their first NASCAR win was in 1973. His teams have won many races in the subsequent years. He closed his European-based Formula One business in 1977.

Penske Racing now operates an IndyCar Series team composed of Hélio Castroneves, Juan Pablo Montoya, Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power, and a NASCAR team with drivers Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, and Ryan Blaney. Previously, Penske Racing ran cars in the CART series that included some of the best drivers of the time, including Gary Bettenhausen, Tom Sneva, Mario Andretti, Bobby Unser, Al Unser, Al Unser, Jr., Emerson Fittipaldi, Rick Mears, Danny Sullivan, Paul Tracy and Gil de Ferran. After many years of trying, his team won the Daytona 500 in 2008 with Ryan Newman driving. Penske, would later win another Daytona 500 in 2015 with Logano behind the wheel.

In 2005, Porsche set the stage to make a comeback in sports car racing in the United States and chose Penske Racing to run in the LMP2 class of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). The Penske Porsches took center stage in 2006, winning immediately, including victories at Mid-Ohio finishing 1-2 ahead of Audi (competing in a higher classification) and the annual Petit Le Mans, a 10-hour showcase event held at Road Atlanta. His team scored an overall victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2008.

Penske also ran a Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype in the 2008 Rolex 24 at Daytona, with Kurt Busch, Ryan Briscoe, and Hélio Castroneves driving. The car was run in conjunction with Wayne Taylor's SunTrust Racing. They finished third overall.

In 2009, Penske suspended his participation in the ALMS, switching to ALMS's rival Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series for the full season. They used a Porsche-powered Riley with Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas driving.

Penske purchased the old Matsushita air conditioning plant in Mooresville, NC and reconditioned it to consolidate his racing business. All of Penske's racing operations are under one roof, with his IndyCar, NASCAR, and American Le Mans Series (through 2009) teams sharing over 424,000 square feet (39,400 m2) of space encompassing 105 acres (42 ha).

Penske won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship with driver Brad Keselowski on November 18, 2012.[ citation needed ]

In late 2014, it was announced Penske would take a 51% stake in Australian V8 Supercars team Dick Johnson Racing, forming DJR Team Penske. The team entered one car in 2015, initially for Marcos Ambrose before he stepped aside to make way for Scott Pye. The team expanded to a second car for New Zealander Fabian Coulthard in 2016, before Pye was replaced with another Kiwi in Scott McLaughlin in 2017. Coulthard won the combined team's first championship race at the 2017 Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint.

On September 16th, 2018, driver Brad Keselowski won the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for Roger Penske, giving Roger Penske his 500th race victory as an owner across all racing series.

Personal life

Penske has five children, two with first wife Lissa and three with second wife Kathy: Roger, Jr, Gregory, Blair, Mark, and Jay Penske.

An avid car collector, he owns many rare American and European automobiles, including a Ferrari FXX, of which only 30 were made.

Political activities

Penske Racing donated $500,000 to Restore Our Future, Mitt Romney's Super PAC. [10] Penske was discussed as a potential candidate for Mayor of Detroit, but he declined to run. [11]

In 2016 a "Draft Roger Penske for US Senate (Michigan)" movement began. [12]

Penske Corporation

Penske is chairman of Penske Corporation, based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Some of the company's holdings include Penske Automotive Group, an international company that operates automobile dealerships in the United States, Canada and parts of Europe; Penske Truck Leasing, a truck sales, leasing, and fleet maintenance company; and Penske Motor Group which has dealerships in California and Texas.

Racing awards

Motorsports career results

SCCA National Championship Runoffs

1960F Modified Porsche RSK 1
1961D Modified Maserati/Cooper 1
1962D Modified Cooper Monaco1
1963D Modified Zerex Special 1

Complete Formula One World Championship results


1961 John M Wyatt III Cooper T53 Climax Straight-4 MON NED BEL FRA GBR GER ITA USA
1962 Dupont Team Zerex Lotus 24 Climax V8 NED MON BEL FRA GBR GER ITA USA
Source: [16]

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  2. "IndyCar: Without Hélio, Team Penske moves on". Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  3. Roger Penske - Forbes,
  4. "2009 Kronk Gym Foundation Honorees: Roger Penske" (PDF). Kronk Gym Foundation. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
  5. "Roger Penske Sports Biography, Photos & Rise To Success". 1937-02-20. Archived from the original on 2014-10-24. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
  6. "Gale Encyclopedia of Biography: Roger Penske". Retrieved 2011-01-01.
  7. "Roger Penske". Forbes. 10 August 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  8. "#382 Roger Penske". Forbes. 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  9. Team Penske - Year by Year Highlights, Retrieved 8 January 2015
  10. Lane, Amy (28 October 2012). "Penske drives to the lead of super PAC list". Crain's Detroit Business. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  11. Welch, William M. (20 August 2011). "Time to draft Roger Penske for president?". USA Today. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  12. JLenardDetroit. "Draft Roger Penske for USSenate (Michigan) | RedState". RedState. Retrieved 2017-01-05.
  13. Brudenell, Mike (July 23, 2015). "Penske credits humble beginnings on Automotive HOF night". Detroit Free Press . Retrieved March 5, 2016. Local racing mogul honored in ceremony
  14. "Roger Penske". Hall of Fame Inductees. Automotive Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on March 19, 2016. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  15. "2018 Spirit of Competition Award". Retrieved 2018-10-17.
  16. Small, Steve (1994). The Guinness Complete Grand Prix Who's Who. Guinness. p. 284. ISBN   0851127029.