Stock Car Racing
Roger Penske is not only the most recognizable name in American motorsports, but a man who commands respect in the international racing community as well.
The "Captain" has been racing and winning in the United States since 1958 and has scored victories in every series where he has competed. With 23 national championships, including 12 in Indy car racing, Penske Racing has often been referred to as the "New York Yankees of motorsports."
Roger Penske was one of America's most successful young road racers before electing to retire from driving in 1965 to focus on his first business -- a Philadelphia Chevrolet dealership. However, racing remained a key element in Penske's overall business plan. He fielded Corvettes in the 1966 endurance races at Daytona and Sebring prior to joining forces with driver Mark Donohue to campaign a Lola T70 in the USRRC and Can-Am sports car series. Penske Racing quickly found success with Donohue, winning two consecutive USRRC championships and three SCCA Trans-Am titles.
Penske made its NASCAR debut in 1972, the same season the team earned its first Indy 500 victory with Donohue at the wheel.
With legendary racers Tom Sneva, Mario Andretti, Rick Mears and Bobby Unser, Al Unser and Danny Sullivan competing for the team, Penske Racing established itself as an Indy car powerhouse throughout the 70s and 80s.
A Penske entry was fielded in NASCAR's premier series through 1977 with Donohue collecting one victory and Bobby Allison recording four wins. Penske reappeared in 1980 for a brief two-race stint with Missouri native Rusty Wallace, fielding a car for the young driver's NASCAR debut at Atlanta.
Following a 10-year hiatus from NASCAR competition, Penske Racing South was established in 1991 with Wallace and long-time Penske business associate Don Miller as the team's co-owners.
With the Indy car program continuing its remarkable production in the 90s with drivers like Emerson Fittipaldi, Al Unser Jr. and Paul Tracy, the team's NASCAR squad also began to develop a winning formula.
For 16 straight years, Wallace won at least one NASCAR race each season, tying him for third on the all-time list for the most consecutive seasons with at least one victory. He also finished in the top 10 in the series standings in 12 of his 15 seasons driving for Penske Racing. By the end of the 2005 season, 37 of Wallace's 55 career victories had come under the Penske Racing banner.
By 2001, Penske Racing flourished as a multi-car NASCAR operation with Wallace, Jeremy Mayfield and Ryan Newman leading the way on the track. Wallace retired from Cup competition after the 2005 season, closing the door on one of the most storied careers in racing. Kurt Busch, the 2004 NASCAR Cup titleholder, joined Penske Racing in 2006 as Wallace transitioned to the broadcast booth.
Proven winners Busch and Newman led the charge for the Penske Racing NASCAR program in 2008 with Hornish Jr. joining the mix for his first full season of stock car racing. Highlighted by a dramatic 1-2 finish in the Daytona 500 with Newman securing Penske's first win in the "Great American Race" and Busch finishing a close second, the team added to the Penske Racing tradition of excellence.
In '09, David Stremme joined the team's NASCAR Cup Series lineup alongside Hornish and Busch, who earned two wins and finished fourth in the Chase for the Cup Series title. Rising NASCAR star Justin Allgaier ran the team's first full Nationwide Series season with new partner Verizon Wireless, and Allgaier captured series Rookie-of-the-Year honors.
The 2010 season stood out as one of the best in the history of the storied organization. In his first year with the team, Brad Keselowski captured Penske Racing's first NASCAR championship as he earned the Nationwide Series crown behind five wins, six poles a record 26 top-five finishes. Busch posted two victories and a win in the NASCAR All-Star race while qualifying for the Chase before finishing 11th in the series standings.
The winning tradition continued in 2011. Penske Racing qualified each of its cars for the Chase as both Keselowski and Busch pursued the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Keselowski finished fifth in the title chase with three wins and one pole while Busch earned a pair of victories and three pole positions. Keselowski also continued his torrid Nationwide Series production as he scored five wins and four poles. Hornish scored his first-ever NASCAR victory with a win in Phoenix in the Nationwide Series and earned a full-time ride in 2012.
A milestone was achieved in 2012 as Penske Racing earned it's first-ever NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite team scored three victories during the regular season. Hornish scored his first-ever NASCAR pole in the Nationwide Series event at Watkins Glen and went on to finish a NASCAR career best fourth-place in the Nationwide Series Championship. Ryan Blaney made his debut as a Penske Racing driver earning a runner-up finish at Texas and five top-10 finishes in just seven starts in the Nationwide Series.
The 2013 racing season is full of promise and potential as Ford has once again paired with Penske Racing as they work to defend the Cup Championship. Joey Logano has joined the team piloting the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford and Blaney will continue his development with Penske Racing as he shares the Discount Tire ride with Keselowski. All eyes will be on Keselowski and the Miller Lite Ford as they look to repeat their 2012 Championship effort.