Team owner Roger Penske was presented with the prestigious Autosport Gold Medal at the Autosport Awards ceremony on December 4 in London, which recalled the glorious past and present of the Penske team, as well as its links to the UK. .
Penske was only the second recipient of this award, which began in 2021 and is given to an individual who has made an invaluable contribution to world motorsport, leaving a legacy for future generations. The gold medal is the highest honor at the annual Autosport Awards ceremony.
Josef Newgarden, current Team Penske driver and two-time NTT INDYCAR Series Champion, Gil de Ferran, who won the INDYCAR Series championship in 2000 and 2001 and the 2003 Indianapolis 500 for Team Penske, and Nick Goozee , a former Penske Cars executive, joined Penske on stage for the medal ceremony at the Black Tie Gala at Grosvenor House.
Penske raced in England during his racing career. His race car company, which has built winning cars in Formula 1 and in the INDYCAR series for Team Penske, it was based in Poole, England.
“Coming back to the UK is where it all started, 60 years ago at Brands Hatch we had some success and then we bought a store in Poole in Dorset,” Penske said on stage. “I think the UK helped start our racing business so there is always a connection between the two as racing and the business grow.
Penske is an icon of world motorsports, winning as a sports car driver early in his career and continuing to win as the owner of the Penske team since he hung up his racing gloves in 1965.
Team Penske is synonymous with victory. The team has won 17 championships, including 18 Indianapolis 500 victories and 231 INDYCAR series race victories. In the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series, the Penske team has won 10 championships, three Daytona 500s and 219 races.
Even at 85, Roger Penske’s thirst for winning hasn’t been quenched. Team Penske had one of its best seasons in 2022, winning the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and NASCAR Cup Series titles for the first time in the same season, with drivers Will Power and Joey Logano, respectively. The team has also increased its win total in all racing disciplines beyond 600 this season.
“Winning in both INDYCAR and NASCAR this year was incredible,” Penske said. “We had a great year.”
Team Penske has also had success outside of the INDYCAR and NASCAR series. Penske drivers have also taken checkered flags in Formula 1, Trans-Am, Can-Am, IMSA and V8 Supercars. Along with their successes at the Indianapolis and Daytona ovals, Team Penske also won the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Roger Penske also added a new dimension to his motorsports empire by purchasing Indianapolis Motor Speedway and INDYCAR in January 2020, ushering both into a new era of continued success and stability for the future.
The legendary Jackie Stewart, a three-time Formula 1 world champion, presented the gold medal to Penske. Stewart was voted Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year in 1966, three years before Team Penske entered a car in the Indianapolis 500.
“I can’t think of anyone in motorsport who has done as much as this man,” Stewart said onstage. “He changed the sport in the United States of America. He has information that no one else in this room has, I think.
“What he has done for motorsport, of course the Americans think it is wonderful. But for us in Europe he is the perfect example of what we should do in the future. There can be no better role model than this man, so “That what he has done is quite remarkable. The whole family is a fantastic family and an example of what we should all be.”
While Penske has been hailed for his unparalleled accomplishments on tour, his ability to build lasting relationships over decades has also been praised.
Stewart recounted how Penske bought his wife, Helen, a new car after Penske forgot to send her flowers after staying at the Stewart house.
He is an extraordinary man who I am very proud to call a friend,” Stewart said of Penske.
Newgarden and de Ferran also thanked Penske for raising their personal standards as drivers and as people.
“Roger does so many things for so many people,” Newgarden said. “I have never met a person like Roger who can do all the things he does and he can do more. My experience with this team is really, it all comes down to Roger being the best example for everyone and transcending everyone.
“That inner desire can’t be replaced, and Roger has this uncanny ability to bring it out in everyone he works with. With a boss like Roger, you give your best. »
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