Team Penske - History

Team History

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 44 national championships, including 17 in Indy car racing, Team Penske 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.

After three years of campaigning sedans and sports cars, Penske Racing and Donohue made their debut in Indy car racing, running a pair of USAC-sanctioned road races in 1968. The following year, the team made its debut in the Indianapolis 500 and Donohue finished seventh, earning "Rookie-of-the-Year" honors.

Mark Donohue

With Donohue, Penske Racing quickly made its mark in the USAC Championship Series utilizing high standards of car preparation, presentation and development. Donohue finished second at Indianapolis in 1970 and he recorded the team's first Championship Car victory in the Pocono 500 on July 3, 1971. Donohue earned Penske's first Indianapolis 500 triumph less than a year later with an average speed that would remain the race record for a dozen years. Since then, Team Penske has become synonymous with Indy car racing, with more than 230 race victories, nearly 300 poles and 17 National Championships. Team Penske, however, is probably best known for its 19 Indianapolis 500 victories, four with driver Rick Mears and three with Helio Castroneves.

Even though Team Penske is legendary in open-wheel racing, it has certainly been able to carry its success to other forms of motorsports.

Penske made its NASCAR debut in 1972, the same season the team earned its first Indy 500 victory with Donohue at the wheel.

Continuing to compete in NASCAR, the Can-Am Series and in Indy cars, Penske Racing also debuted its Formula 1 car in 1970s.

Roger's minis

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.

Rusty Wallace pit stopFor 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.

A new generation of open-wheel stars ushered in a new decade for Team Penske as Gil de Ferran claimed back-to-back CART titles in 2000 and '01 and Helio Castroneves scored consecutive Indy 500 victories in '01 and '02.

By 2001, Penske Racing flourished as a multi-car NASCAR operation with Wallace, Jeremy Mayfield and Ryan Newman leading the way on the track.

Team Penske first competed in the Indy Racing League in 2001 and it joined the series full time the following season. 

Sam Hornish Jr.

Sam Hornish Jr. came aboard in 2004 and he led the Penske squad to its first IndyCar Series title in 2006.

Wallace retired from Cup Series 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 Team Penske in 2006 as Wallace transitioned to the broadcast booth.

More than 30 years after winning at the highest levels of sports car racing, Penske returned to its roots late in the 2005 season, announcing an LMP2-class effort with Porsche in the American Le Mans Series. The squad had a remarkable homecoming, capturing the class championship with Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr in '06 before again earning titles in '07 and '08 with teammates Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas.

Proven winners Busch and Newman led the charge for the Team Penske 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. 

Castroneves and newcomer Ryan Briscoe both had stellar seasons for the Team Penske IndyCar Series team in 2008. Each driver scored a pair of victories and Castroneves battled Scott Dixon for the series title down to the final lap of the season before finishing a close second in the championship. 

On the sports car side, Team Penske claimed its third consecutive ALMS championship in 2008.  Bernhard and Dumas drove a Porsche Riley Daytona Prototype for the team in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series in 2009.

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 Xfinity Series season with new partner Verizon Wireless, and Allgaier captured series Rookie-of-the-Year honors. Castroneves cemented his position as one of the all-time greats in the history of the Indianapolis 500 as he earned his third victory at the Brickyard and the 15th victory in the legendary race for Team Penske.

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 Xfinity 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 and finishing 11th in the series standings. Operating with a full-season three-car team for the first time in nearly 15 years, Power led the way for Team Penske in the NTT IndyCar Series. He paced the series with five wins and a record eight poles and captured the inaugural Mario Andretti Road Course championship before finishing as series runner-up. Castroneves posted three wins and Briscoe added another victory for Team Penske.

The winning tradition continued in 2011 as Power paced the NTT IndyCar Series with six wins and eight poles. After winning his second straight Mario Andretti Road Course title, Power once again finished second in a close battle for the overall series crown. Team Penske qualified each of its cars for the Chase as both Keselowski and Busch pursued the NASCAR 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 Xfinity Series production as he scored five wins and four poles. Hornish scored his first-ever NASCAR victory with a win in Phoenix in the XfinitySeries and earned a full-time ride in 2012.       

Brad CupA milestone was achieved in 2012 as Team Penske earned it's first-ever NASCAR Cup Series Championship. Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite team scored three victories during the regular season. They then followed that with two more wins during the Chase to bring Team Penske the coveted Cup Title. On the IndyCar side of the facility, Power earned his third consecutive Mario Andretti Road Course title as he, Castroneves and Briscoe accumulated six victories and eight poles on the year. Power again came up a few points short of the series title to finish second while Castroneves finished fourth in the final standings. Hornish scored his first-ever NASCAR pole in the Xfinity Series event at Watkins Glen and went on to finish a NASCAR career best fourth-place in the Xfinity Series Championship. Ryan Blaney made his debut as a Team Penske driver earning a runner-up finish at Texas and five top-10 finishes in just seven starts in the Xfinity Series.

The 2013 racing season was a winning campaign that saw the organization claim another championship while battling for series titles at all three levels of competition. Every driver that competed for Team Penske visited Victory Lane in 2013.

As the team joined Ford Racing in NASCAR and welcomed Joey Logano to its ranks, both he and Keselowski won Cup Series races for their respective teams. Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil team qualified for the Chase as they fought for the series title. Keselowski, Logano, Ryan Blaney and AJ Allmendinger all won in the No. 22 Discount Tire/Hertz Ford Mustang as the team claimed the Xfinity Series owner's title for the 25th national championship in the organization's storied history. Hornish also won in Xfinity Series action and battled to the closing laps for the series title before finishing a close second.

Both Castroneves and Power continued their winning ways for the Team Penske IndyCar program in 2013. Behind a win at Texas and a remarkable 16 top-10 finishes in 19 races, Castroneves led the championship most of the season before he finished as series runner up. Power closed the season with a flourish, winning three times in the final five races to claim fourth in the championship standings. Shortly after the season it was announced that winning racer Juan Pablo Montoya would join Castroneves and Power on the IndyCar team for 2014.

Will Power and Roger PenskeThe 2014 racing season was another banner year in the rich history of Team Penske. Across all levels of competition the organization produced 22 victories overall. The totals included a record 11 NASCAR Cup Series wins as Keselowski led the series with six victories and Logano wasn't far behind with five trips to Victory Lane. Both drivers raced their way into the Chase and Logano battled until the championship round of the elimination format, finishing a career-best fourth in the series standings in the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil/AAA/ Ford. Both Logano and Keselowski also contributed to the team's second consecutive NASCAR Xfinity Series Owners' Championship as the No. 22 Discount Tire/Hertz/Snap-on Ford claimed the title with several drivers again producing behind the wheel.

It was also a championship season for Team Penske in the NTT IndyCar Series as Power claimed the elusive crown behind three victories in the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet. The team finished 1-2 in the title chase as Castroneves, who earned one win on the year, finished second in the standings. Montoya also had a strong return season to IndyCar Series competition as he finished fourth in the championship with a victory at Pocono. After the season concluded, Team Penske also announced that it would expand to a four-car operation for the first time in history with productive and talented French racer Simon Pagenaud joining the team beginning with the 2015 NTT IndyCar Series season.

More growth for Team Penske was announced in September as the team unveiled a partnership with Dick Johnson Racing (DJR), Australia's most established race team, to compete in the 2015 Supercars Championship. DJR Team Penske made its debut with Scott Pye and Marcos Ambrose driving the iconic No. 17 Ford Falcon for the new-look team. In 2016, DJR Team Penske expanded to a two-car program with Pye and winning series veteran Fabian Coulthard. Scott McLaughlin, one of the rising stars of the sport, was announced to pair with Coulthard for 2017 to form a formidable duo in Australia's wildly popular racing series.

The 2015 campaign brought more success in NASCAR as the team won at every level of competition. Logano began the season with a landmark victory as he took the checkered flag in the Daytona 500 - Team Penske's second win in the "Great American Race." Logano added five more victories, including a remarkable three straight, before being eliminated in the Sprint Cup Series playoffs to finish sixth in the final standings. Keselowski continued his winning ways by posting a win at Auto Club Speedway and earning another trip to the Playoffs before he wound up seventh in the championship. Team Penske claimed its third consecutive NASCAR Xfinity Series Owners' Championship with Logano, Keselowski and Ryan Blaney teaming up to win for the No. 22 Ford team.

In his second season with Team Penske, Montoya had a banner year in the NTT IndyCar Series in 2015. The popular Colombian won the season opener on the streets of St. Petersburg and then produced his second win in the Indianapolis 500, and Team Penske's record 16th victory at Indy, in May. Montoya led the championship standings all the way until the very end as he finished second on a tiebreaker to Scott Dixon. Power posted a win for the eighth consecutive year as he captured the Grand Prix of Indianapolis while Castroneves and Pagenaud also enjoyed strong seasons.

Celebrating its 50th season of competition in 2016, the organization fulfilled its promise to make it a year to remember. In NASCAR, both Keselowski and Logano once again earned spots in the Playoffs with Keselowski producing four wins and Logano claiming three victories on the year and a $1 million payday by capturing the annual NASCAR All-Star race at Charlotte. Logano also claimed both of the team's Xfinity Series wins and he raced his way to the Championship Round of the Playoffs and battled for the Cup Series title down to the very last lap before finishing as series runner-up behind Jimmie Johnson.

Team Penske produced once of its most complete seasons in years in the NTT IndyCar Series claiming the top three positions in the 2016 championship. In just his second year with the team, Pagenaud took control of the point standings after the second race of the season and he never looked back. He won three consecutive races to take the points lead and sealed it with a pair of wins in the final five races, including a dominant win from the pole at Sonoma Raceway in the season finale with the championship on the line. It marked his first IndyCar title and Team Penske's 14th open-wheel championship. After missing the first race of the season with an illness, Power came back strong and produced four victories en route to a runner-up result in the title chase while Castroneves had another strong season to finish third overall. Montoya began the season strong with a win in St. Petersburg but endured some tough luck throughout the season and finished eighth in the standings. Team Penske announced after the season that talented young American driver Josef Newgarden would join the team starting in 2017 to complete a lineup with Pagenaud, Power and Castroneves. 

The 2017 season was one of accomplishment and winning across all levels of competition for Team Penske. Between its NASCAR, INDYCAR and Supercars teams, Team Penske produced an incredible 36 race victories. The organization also earned championships across all three levels of racing to bring its all-time total to 32 titles in its rich history.

In the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Keselowski produced three race wins and not only earned a spot in the NASCAR Playoffs, but also raced his way into the final Championship 4 round before finishing fourth in the season standings. Logano got the year started right with a win the Clash at Daytona non-points race in January before adding a victory at Richmond, but he fell just short of being able to advance to the Playoffs and compete for the title. Team Penske's Xfinity Series teams continued to produce with multiple drivers and the team won the Owners' Championship for the fourth time in five seasons. Keselowski, Logano and Blaney all tallied wins for the team, along with Sam Hornish Jr.

INDYCAR Championship - NewgardenFor the second consecutive season, Team Penske claimed the NTT IndyCar Series title behind a remarkable effort from Newgarden in his first year racing for the team. The talented young American produced four victories to edge Pagenaud, his teammate and the defending champion, in the title chase. Pagenaud scored a pair of victories in finishing as series runner up and Castroneves won at Iowa and finished fourth in the championship. Power posted three wins and made it four Team Penske drivers in the top five in points with another impressive season.

DJR Team Penske series team championshipThe DJR Team Penske lineup of Coulthard and McLaughlin proved to be a dominant combination in the 2017 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship. Between the two drivers they racked up an impressive 15 victories and 20 pole positions as DJR Team Penske claimed the presitious series team championship. McLaughin finished second and Coulthard third in the driver title chase to complete a landmark season for the team.

The 2017 season also brought growth for Team Penske as the organization announced its long-awaited return to sports car competition. Teaming up with Acura to field two DPi entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the team was positioned for a strong re-entry into sports car racing in 2018.

Team Penske experienced one of the most remarkable seasons in its history in 2018. The organization generated a total of 32 wins and 35 pole positions while earning two series championship and its 17th Indianapolis 500 victory. The team also scored its 500th all-time win and Roger Penske was elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame as part of its 2019 class. 

NASCAR Cup Series drivers Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney all recorded victories and raced their way into the Playoffs. Keselowski's win at Las Vegas gave the team and Roger Penske their landmark 500th victory. Logano advanced to the Championship 4 round of the Playoffs and won in dramatic fashion at Homestead-Miami Speedway to claim his first Cup Series title and Team Penske's second Cup Series crown.

Logano Win 2018Keselowski, Logano and Blaney also posted wins in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) for the team while young development driver Austin Cindric raced the No. 22 Ford Mustang into the NXS Playoffs before finishing eighth in the championship standings.

All three Team Penske drivers finished among the top six positions in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2018 as the trio of Will Power, Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud produced a combined six wins and eight pole positions. Power earned the biggest victory of his career when he became the first Australian driver to win the Indianapolis 500, while claiming Team Penske's 17th Indy 500 triumph.

In its return to sports car racing, Acura Team Penske team enjoyed a solid 2018 season competing with its two ARX-05 DPi entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The duo of Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor led a team 1-2 finish at Mid-Ohio while the pairing of Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron finished fifth in the series standings.

For the second consecutive season, DJR Team Penske claimed a title in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship. Following up its team crown from a year earlier, Scott McLaughlin posted nine victories and won the driver's championship for DJRTP while his teammate, Fabian Coulthard, also visited Victory Lane and enjoyed a solid season.

The 2019 season brought incredible achievements in some exciting new areas in what could be considered the most successful season ever for Team Penske. The team produced single-season records of 40 victories and 43 pole positions to go along with three championships across its five series of competition.

All three teams earned a spot in the Cup Series Playoffs with Keselowski, Logano and Blaney all advancing to the Round of 12 and Blaney and Logano qualifying for the Round of 8. Cindric continued to emerge as a rising star of the sport as he produced his first two career Xfinity Series victories while he advanced to the NXS Playoffs. 

All three Team Penske IndyCar Series drivers - Newgarden, Pagenaud and Power - produced race victories while Newgarden captured his second career series championship behind a series-leading four wins. The title marked the 16th open-wheel racing crown for Team Penske. Pagenaud produced the record 18th Indianapolis 500 victory for Team Penske in the team's 50th anniversary of competing at the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

In just its second season back competing in sports car racing, Acura Team Penske won the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Daytona Prototype international title. Cameron and Montoya earned three victories in the No. 6 ARX-05 to secure the title for the team. 

It was also a record-setting season for DJR Team Penske in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship. Scott McLaughlin produced 18 wins to establish a new record for the most victories in a Supercars season. McLaughlin also earned Team Penske's first-ever victory in the legendary Bathurst 1000 race as he earned his second series Driver's Championship for the Shell V-Power team. DJR Team Penske also claimed the team title, generating 20 victories overall with Fabian Coulthard contributing with two wins for the team.

Team Penske expanded into the realm of eSports in 2019 with the team fielding a two-car lineup in the eNASCAR Heat Pro League. The team won the opening race of the season and led the series standings for most of the year before finishing third in the championship during its rookie season.

Despite dealing with the challenges presented by a global pandemic in 2020, Team Penske showed its ability to adapt and overcome. While racing and all sports were put on hold for several months in the spring due to COVID-19, Team Penske returned to action and produced a collective 39 race wins, 30 pole positions and three series championships to close out the unprecedented season.

All three of the organization's NASCAR Cup Series teams won races and qualified for the Playoffs while Keselowski and Logano raced their way into the Championship 4 before finishing second and third in the final standings, respectively. 

Cindric continued his rapid development with a breakout Xfinity Series season as he won six races and captured the series championship, and Team Penske's sixth NXS title overall, with a dramatic overtime win in the season finale. 

All three Team Penske drivers visited Victory Lane in the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES with Newgarden scoring four victories, Power earning a pair of wins and Pagenaud producing one triumph. Newgarden came close to repeating as INDYCAR champion as he competed down to the final lap of the season before finishing as series runner up. 

Team Penske also produced championship results in its final season racing in Australian Supercars and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition. McLaughlin earned his third consecutive Supercars driver's title as DJR Team Penske took the checkered flag on its run in the series while Castroneves and Taylor secured the DPi crown to complete the Acura Team Penske IMSA sports car program. The results provided the first series championship for Castroneves in his 21st and final season racing for the team.

During the 2021 racing season, Team Penske scored 13 wins competing across the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. The organization earned its 41st national championship by producing its fifth NXS Owner's title behind another strong season from Cindric, Logano, Blaney and Keselowski - racing in his final season for the team - earned spots in the NASCAR Playoffs while Newgarden and Power also competed for the INDYCAR title. In his first full season transitioning from Supercars, McLaughlin earned the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Rookie of the Year honors for Team Penske.

Brad CupThe 2022 season got off to a fast start for Team Penske. Logano made history in the Cup Series season-opening Clash at the Coliseum by winning the inaugural running of the non-points race inside the L.A. Coliseum. Cindric opened his first season behind the wheel of the No. 2 Ford in a big way as he roared to victory in the Daytona 500, the third triumph for Team Penske in “The Great American Race.” The 2022 INDYCAR SERIES season was a dominant one for Team Penske, reminiscent of its memorable 1994 campaign that is genuinely regarded as one of the finest years for a racing team in the modern era. Totaling nine wins overall with Power, Newgarden and McLaughlin all visiting Victory Lane at least once, Team Penske finished first, second and fourth in the championship standings. Power took home his second crown to pair with his 2014 title, while also giving Team Penske its 17th NICS championship. All three of the team's Cup Series cars earned a trip to the NASCAR postseason with Logano, Cindric and Blaney all qualifying for the Playoffs. Logano and the No. 22 Ford team delivered when it mattered the most, winning the Championship 4 race in the season finale at Phoenix to claim his second Cup Series Championship and the organization's 43rd title overall. Team Penske continued to blaze a new trail, becoming the first team in history to win both the INDYCAR and NASCAR championships in the same season.

The 2023 brought another historical accomplishment for Team Penske as the organization recorded back-to-back NASCAR Cup Series championships for the first time. Ryan Blaney and the No. 12 Ford Mustang team claimed their first title while producing Team Penske's 44th championship. The team's NTT INDYCAR SERIES trio of Power, Newgarden and McLaughlin generated five wins and four poles while claiming three of the top seven positions in the championship standings. Newgarden became the 14th driver in team history to win the Indianapolis 500 as Team Penske celebrated its record 19th victory in the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing." Through a new global partnership with Porsche that represented a return to the organization's sports car racing roots, Porsche Penske Motorsport competed in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the World Endurance Championship with two 963 LMDh entries racing the full season in both series. 

For 2024, Team Penske is already adding more chapters to its legacy, once again competing in the NASCAR Cup Series, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship. The team opened the season with a Porsche Penske Motorsport victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Josef Newgarden secured back-to-back wins at the Indianapolis 500 in May for Team Penske's 20th triumph at the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing."