Roger Penske to receive Autosport Gold Medal in London, England

‘The Captain’ of American motorsport, Roger Penske, will be the recipient of an Autosport Gold Medal at this year’s Autosport Awards in London next month.

Roger Penske to receive Autosport Gold Medal in London, England
Listen to this article

Few figures in global motorsport have made as much of an impact as Penske, 85, who receives the award that was created to recognise the handful of very special individuals who have not only contributed a massive amount to the sport during a long career, but who will also leave a lasting legacy.

For some people, Penske's accomplishments in motorsport are evident in the statistics. Team Penske has scored 17 Indy car championships, 18 Indianapolis 500 victories, and a total of 231 Indy car wins. Across the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series, Penske cars have amassed 10 championships, three Daytona 500 triumphs and 219 wins.

The Mooresville, N.C-based squad's latest titles in both INDYCAR and NASCAR have come in 2022, thanks to Will Power and Joey Logano, respectively, and this was also the year in which the team pushed past the staggering benchmark of 600 victories.   

2022 NASCAR champion Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford (left) and team owner Roger Penske

2022 NASCAR champion Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford (left) and team owner Roger Penske

Photo by: Barry Cantrell / NKP / Motorsport Images

Penske has won in pretty much every category into which he's ventured. The team's original talisman, Mark Donohue, not only scored Penske's first Indy 500 win but also dominated Trans-Am and Can-Am. John Watson helped ensure Penske's brief period in Formula 1 yielded glory, while there have also been great sportscar successes – the Daytona 24 Hours in 1969 with a Lola T70, LMP2-class wins and an overall Sebring 12 Hours triumph with the Porsche RS Spyder, and most recently IMSA championships with Acura.    

In Australia's Supercars series, Team Penske, Dick Johnson Racing and Scott McLaughlin combined to take multiple titles before McLaughlin transitioned to INDYCAR, where after just one season, he became a winner. This proves the depth of McLaughlin's talent but also shows that despite owning both the INDYCAR SERIES and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since 2020, Penske is a competitor who keeps his team sharp and who still recognizes prodigious potential.  

In 2023, the revived sportscar arm of Penske partners with Porsche once more. Given the heritage of both marques, no one would be surprised if a Porsche Penske Motorsport-run 963 is first past the checkered flag at Le Mans or Daytona, or eventually takes championship honors in the WEC or IMSA.

Roger Penske (right) with Rick Mears

Roger Penske (right) with Rick Mears

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Rick Mears, who won four Indy 500s and three INDYCAR titles for Penske and as an adviser remains with the team 30 years after his retirement, is in awe of his boss.  

"Apart from talking about drivers and racing, I usually stay quiet and just listen to Roger," he says. "The bigger stuff about the sport itself, I'll have opinions, but whatever I think of, he's already thought of… usually months or years before it ever crossed my mind! That's how far ahead of the curve he always is, and I'm sure it's the same in his businesses. That's why Roger is still so successful."  

The iconic Enzo Ferrari used to say the most important victory for his racing team was the next one. It's the same for Penske. Team president Tim Cindric, who joined the squad in 1999, says the scale of his boss's ambition struck hard after his role as Helio Castroneves' strategist brought glory at Indy in 2001.  

"I'll never forget, in Victory Lane, the first time we won together," recalled Cindric. "I said, 'Wow, this is 11 for you, but it's a big deal for me,' and Roger says, 'I want 20'. He put it in perspective right then; that it just wasn't enough." 

That's what makes Roger Penske so special; his desire to never settle for all the greatness that he and his team have achieved thus far. It's all about the next challenge, and that's why he's the gold standard of American-based motorsports. 

Roger Penske, Founder of Team Penske, at Porsche 963 testing in Daytona

Roger Penske, Founder of Team Penske, at Porsche 963 testing in Daytona

Photo by: Porsche

shares
comments
Ricciardo set on F1 role in 2023, 'mentally not there' with IndyCar
Previous article

Ricciardo set on F1 role in 2023, 'mentally not there' with IndyCar

Next article

20 IndyCar races per year would be “sweet spot” says Frye

20 IndyCar races per year would be “sweet spot” says Frye
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and series sophomore Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 22, 2021
How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar Prime

How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar

Marcus Ericsson enjoyed a breakout year in the IndyCar Series in 2021, winning twice and finishing sixth in points with Chip Ganassi Racing. How did he finally unlock the potential that was masked by five years of toil in Formula 1 with Caterham and Sauber/Alfa Romeo?

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win Prime

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win

Saturday, Oct. 16th, marks the 10th anniversary Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500.

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Prime

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Jack Harvey’s move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate, but their combined strength could prove golden, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 15, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Prime

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong résumé and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star Prime

2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star

Alex Palou has captured Chip Ganassi Racing's 14th IndyCar drivers' championship, and in truly stellar manner. David Malsher-Lopez explains what made the Palou-Ganassi combo so potent so soon.

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Prime

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021