“Yes, Roger Penske’s
organization has endured its
fallow periods, but these feel
more like a pause and reset”
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At some point, there’s a more in-depth feature to be written
about Roger Penske’s driving career. “The Captain” called it a
day when his businesses began to take off, but what might have
been had he actually tested Clint Brawner’s Indy car?
Ricardo Santos is
for many of
RACER ’s most
This time it’s an
homage to Penske
past and present.
here are teams that have existed for
longer – Scuderia Ferrari and McLaren,
albeit in two guises, spring to mind. But
none have sustained a level of excellence,
or accumulated the scale and variety of
achievements, or been so defined and
shaped by one individual as Team Penske
has over its first 50 years.
Enzo Ferrari founded his eponymous
team in 1929, but his later role became
largely titular, and the marque’s competitive
droughts are almost as much the stuff of
legend as its periods of awe-inspiring
dominance. Yes, Roger Penske’s
organization has endured its own fallow
spells, but in context and with hindsight,
these feel more like a pause and reset – the
regroup before the next attack – rather
than the periodic losing of the plot that
became a recuring motif of the Scuderia.
In our third annual Great Teams Issue,
RACER celebrates 50 years of Team
Penske, and we make no apology that, with
the 100th Indianapolis 500 upon us,
there’s a certain emphasis on its enduring
connection with the race that’s come to
define its legacy. With 16 “500” wins
already in the books, nothing sums up the
ongoing drive and the will to win of a team
and its hands-on owner better than the fact
that it headed to Indy as the defending
champion, thanks to Juan Pablo Montoya’s
2015 victory, and as the pre-race favorite.
Also in this issue, having just ragged
Ferrari for its inconsistency over the years,
we take a look at one of the periods when
the most famous team in racing got it all
right and delivered Michael Schumacher
five-straight Formula 1 World Championships
between 2000-’04. Why did the golden era
come to an end? Well, because it’s Ferrari...
Plus, we’re delving into the inner
workings of NASCAR powerhouse Hendrick
Motorsports to find out why bigger really is
better in the house that Rick built. And with
Le Mans around the corner, we showcase
some of the unsung individuals who make
Corvette Racing a GT racing benchmark.