Penske Racing Returns to Honda Power
TORRANCE, Calif. (October 31, 2005) -- Penske Racing, one of the most successful teams in IndyCar racing history, will return to using Honda Indy V-8 engines in the 2006 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series, officials with the team and Honda Performance Development announced today.
Headquartered in Reading, Pennsylvania, Penske Racing has amassed 124 IndyCar race wins, including a record 13 Indianapolis 500 victories, plus 154 pole positions and 11 national championships. In 2005, drivers Helio Castroneves and Sam Hornish, Jr., combined for three race wins and five poles, the highest total for any non-Honda-powered team in the IndyCar Series.
"We're thrilled to have Team Penske back in the Honda fold," said Robert Clarke, president of Honda Performance Development. "With the departure of General Motors from the IndyCar Series, we had expected to expand our lineup in 2006, and adding Team Penske is certainly an impressive way to begin. We had a very successful relationship with them in the CART series, and now look forward to renewing our partnership in the IndyCar Series."
Penske Racing previously used Honda power in the 2000 and 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series. That association produced 10 race victories, 16 pole positions and back-to-back drivers' championships for Gil de Ferran, as well as the CART Manufacturers' Championship for Honda in 2001.
Honda joined the IRL in 2003, after nine years of CART competition. Earlier this month, Honda re-affirmed its commitment to IndyCar racing and the Indy Racing League, agreeing to continue supplying engines to teams competing in the series through the 2009 season.
"Honda's long-term commitment to the IndyCar Series was an absolute factor in our decision," said Penske Racing team owner Roger Penske. "As it became clear that Toyota was re-allocating its resources, we had to look beyond 2006 and make the best decision for our future."
In three years of IndyCar racing, Honda, its drivers and teams have compiled an enviable record of achievement. It includes IRL Manufacturers' Championships for Honda in 2004 and 2005; a pair of Indianapolis 500 triumphs (Buddy Rice in 2004 and Dan Wheldon in 2005); two Drivers' Championships (Tony Kanaan in 2004 and Wheldon in 2005); three Rookies of the Year (Wheldon in 2003, Kosuke Matsuura in 2004 and Danica Patrick in 2005); and a total of 28 IndyCar Series race victories.