2006-2008 P2 giant-killers
When Porsche conceives its LMP2 class RS
Spyder, talk of going head to head with Audi’s
LMP1 machinery in the American Le Mans Series
seems a little optimistic. Not so... One outright
win for a Penske-run Spyder in 2006 is followed
by eight in ’07 and a remarkable overall victory in
the grueling 12 Hours of Sebring in ’08.
2008 A first Daytona 500
It’s been a long time coming, but Roger
Penske’s first Daytona 500 win is worth
the wait, thanks to a 1-2 finish for the Dodge
Chargers of Ryan Newman and teammate
Kurt Busch in the race’s 50th running.
2015 JPM’s “500”
Team Penske’s 16th
Indianapolis 500 victory
comes courtesy of Juan
Pablo Montoya, who edges
his teammate, Will Power,
by just 0.1046sec.
hen Brad Keselowski sealed the 2012
NASCAR Sprint Cup at Homestead,
he acknowledged the achievement in the
most Brad Keselowski way possible: he
tweeted it. As in, before he’d even gotten
out of the race car in Victory Lane.
“We did it! #NASCAR,” he tapped. And
in case anyone missed the point, he also
took a photo through the windshield of
the maelstrom that awaited him.
Why he had a cell phone in the No. 2
Penske Racing Dodge Charger is a question
for another day. But it’s easy to forgive
his excitement, considering that his name
had rarely been mentioned among the
title favorites at the start of the season.
Penske had run NASCAR programs on
and off since 1972 with sporadic success,
before reigniting its program with Rusty
Keselowksi won twice in the 2012 Chase (ABOVE, Chicagoland) and
secured the title in his 125th career Cup start – the fewest required by
a Cup champion since Jeff Gordon, who clinched in ’ 95 in start No. 93.
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Wallace in 1991. Prior to 2012, its high
point was Ryan Newman’s Daytona 500 win
in ’08. (A feat matched last year by Joey
Logano.) Keselowski’s arrival in 2010 to
drive for Penske in Cup and the Nationwide
Series rewarded the team with the
Nationwide crown, its first in NASCAR.
But repeating the feat in Cup two years
later took most of the field by surprise.
Keselowski and crew chief Paul Wolfe
built their campaign around consistency.
Just as crucial as their three pre-Chase
wins was their miserly DNF count - just
one, at the Daytona 500. Every time
circumstances demanded that Keselowski
step up to the plate, he responded. And
the reward for Roger Penske was to
finally see his NASCAR program walk as
tall as the rest of his racing operation.
Keselowski’s win in
Bristol’s spring race
kickstarted his push
for Chase qualification
in 2012. Two more
regular season wins
followed. In the
10-race Chase itself,
an average finish of
6. 3, including two
more wins, was stout
enough to deliver
Penske a first Cup
Brad Keselowski shared Penske’s first Sprint Cup title
with the world before he even got out of the car.
2012 NASCAR SPRINT CUP