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Roger Penske

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Roger Penske
Penske in 2023
BornRoger Searle Penske
(1937-02-20) February 20, 1937 (age 87)
Shaker Heights, Ohio, U.S.
Formula One World Championship career
NationalityUnited States American
Active years19611962
TeamsNon-works Cooper and Lotus
Career points0
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
First entry1961 United States Grand Prix
Last entry1962 United States Grand Prix
1994 Indy 500 winning Penske PC23 driven by Al Unser Jr.
Penske in 2005

Roger Searle Penske (born February 20, 1937) is a retired American professional auto racing driver, team owner and businessman. Penske is most known for his ownership of Team Penske, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar, and other auto racing-related businesses. Penske is the founder and chairman of the Penske Corporation, a holding company for his various businesses. Penske is also a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient.

Early life and education[edit]

Penske was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, in 1937.[1] Born to a devout Episcopalian family, Penske was heavily involved with his church as a boy, singing in the church's choir and serving in the ministry as an acolyte.[2] His father, Jay, was a successful corporate executive for a metal fabrication company and encouraged his son to become an entrepreneur.[3] As a teenager he bought older cars, repaired them and sold them at a profit from his family's home in Cleveland, Ohio.[4] He graduated from Shaker Heights High School in 1955 and is a 1959 graduate of Lehigh University, where he was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.[5]

Racing career[edit]

Penske's first racing venture was in hillclimbing, but then ran road course racing at the Vineland Raceway in Vineland, New Jersey, as a member of the Philadelphia Region of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) in Porsches.[6] Penske made his first professional racing start at the now-abandoned Marlboro Motor Raceway in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

Sports Illustrated named him SCCA Driver of the Year in 1961.[7] 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 with the Dean Van Lines team.[8]

Penske continued racing until 1965, when he retired as a driver, to concentrate on his first Chevrolet dealership in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[9]

Racing teams[edit]

Penske Racing debuted in 1966 at the 24 Hours of Daytona.[10] He developed one of the most successful teams in IndyCar Series and NASCAR racing. He is the most successful team owner at the Indianapolis 500 with 20 victories. He is known by his nickname of "The Captain".[11] Penske also served as a race strategist for his IndyCar team, most recently for driver Will Power.[12]

Penske won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship with driver Brad Keselowski on November 18, 2012.[13]

On September 16, 2018, driver Brad Keselowski won the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, giving Penske his 500th race victory as an owner across all racing series. Later the same season, Joey Logano would clinch the championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway, winning Penske his second championship in the Cup series.[14]

Penske Corporation[edit]

Penske is chairman of Penske Corporation, based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Some of the company's holdings include a significant stake in publicly-traded 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; Penske Motor Group which operates auto dealerships in California and Texas. On November 4, 2019, Penske acquired the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a 2.5-mile course in Speedway, Indiana, the Indianapolis 500-mile race and IndyCar from the Hulman Family for an undisclosed amount.[15]

Personal life[edit]

As of October 2023, Penske's estimated net worth is $3.8 billion.[16]

Political activities[edit]

Penske (right) with President Donald Trump (center) and Joey Logano (left) on the White House south lawn in 2019

Penske Racing donated $500,000 to Restore Our Future, Mitt Romney's Super PAC.[17] He was discussed as a potential candidate for Mayor of Detroit but declined to run.[18] Penske endorsed Donald Trump in the 2020 United States presidential election after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2019.[19] He contributed $45,000 to Donald Trump's 2020 presidential campaign.[20]

Awards and honors[edit]

Auto racing

Halls of Fame


Motorsports career results[edit]

Complete Formula One World Championship results[edit]

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 WDC Points
1961 John M Wyatt III Cooper T53 Climax Straight-4 MON NED BEL FRA GBR GER ITA USA
NC 0
1962 Dupont Team Zerex Lotus 24 Climax V8 NED MON BEL FRA GBR GER ITA USA

24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
1963 United States North American Racing Team Mexico Pedro Rodríguez Ferrari 330 TRI/LM P +3.0 113 DNF DNF



  1. ^ "2009 Kronk Gym Foundation Honorees: Roger Penske" (PDF). Kronk Gym Foundation. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 27, 2011. Retrieved January 1, 2011.
  2. ^ "News & Announcements". Horatio Alger. Retrieved April 9, 2024.
  3. ^ "Roger Penske Sports Biography, Photos & Rise To Success". Ca.askmen.com. February 20, 1937. Archived from the original on October 24, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2011.
  4. ^ "Gale Encyclopedia of Biography: Roger Penske". Answers.com. Retrieved January 1, 2011.
  5. ^ "Roger Penske". Forbes. August 10, 2017. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  6. ^ "293 - Roger Penske: The Captain". iHeartRadio. Dirty Mo Media. April 13, 2020. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  7. ^ "Penshe Drives at Bridgehampton". The Journal News. May 21, 1962. Retrieved July 23, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ "Insight: The Penske/Porsche link spans more than 60 years". racer.com. October 21, 2022. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  9. ^ "#382 Roger Penske". Forbes. 2017. Archived from the original on May 19, 2006. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  10. ^ "Year-by-Year Highlights: 1965 - 2018". teampenske.com. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  11. ^ James, Brant (March 4, 2013). "Long-Range Vision". Autoweek. Vol. 63, no. 5. pp. 54–60.
  12. ^ "IndyCar: Without Hélio, Team Penske moves on". autoweek.com. February 11, 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  13. ^ "Brad Keselowski clinches first Cup title after Johnson exits". USA Today. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  14. ^ "Joey Logano wins 2018 Monster Energy Series title". Official Site Of NASCAR. November 18, 2018. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  15. ^ "Roger Penske buys Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar Series from Hulman family". CBS Sports. November 4, 2019. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  16. ^ "Roger Penske". Forbes. 2023. Retrieved October 17, 2023.
  17. ^ Lane, Amy (October 28, 2012). "Penske drives to the lead of super PAC list". Crain's Detroit Business. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  18. ^ Welch, William M. (August 20, 2011). "Time to draft Roger Penske for president?". USA Today. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  19. ^ Ziegler, Sara (October 28, 2020). "Inside The Political Donation History Of Wealthy Sports Owners". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved January 13, 2022.
  20. ^ "Here Are The Billionaires Who Donated To Donald Trump's 2020 Presidential Campaign". Forbes. Retrieved March 27, 2024.
  21. ^ a b c d e f Roger Penske Drive
  22. ^ "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". achievement.org.
  23. ^ "2018 Spirit of Competition Award". simeonemuseum.org. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  24. ^ Roger Penske at the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America
  25. ^ 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
  26. ^ "Roger Penske". Hall of Fame Inductees. Automotive Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on March 19, 2016. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  27. ^ Small, Steve (1994). The Guinness Complete Grand Prix Who's Who. Guinness. p. 284. ISBN 0851127029.
  28. ^ "Roger Penske". Automobile Club de l'Ouest. Retrieved June 7, 2023.
  29. ^ "Roger Penske Results". Motorsport Stats. Retrieved June 7, 2023.

External links[edit]