Team Penske (formerly Penske Racing) is an American professional racing team that competes in the IndyCar Series and NASCAR. They have also competed in various other types of professional racing such as road racing and Formula One. Team Penske is a division of Penske Corporation, and is owned and chaired by Roger Penske. The team president is Tim Cindric.
Penske has been involved with IndyCar racing since 1968, when they first fielded a stock block-powered Eagle with Mark Donohue. The team first competed at Indianapolis in 1969, and within three years had become the team to beat, winning the race with Donohue in 1972. In 1978, Roger Penske along with Pat Patrick, Dan Gurney, and several other team owners who had been participating in USAC events involving cars known as Champ Cars and IndyCars formed Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART). As of June 27, 2015, Penske Racing has won the Indianapolis 500 16 times, won the Indianapolis 500 pole position 17 times, as well as 177 open wheel IndyCar wins in USAC, CART and IRL, 29 of which are in 500-Mile Races and 13 open wheel championships. Penske Racing has 1,463 starts in IndyCar races, 231 pole positions, 71 wins from pole, 47 double wins of which 8 are 1–2–3 finishes from the Pocono race on June 26, 1977, to January 1, 2015.
In 2001, team Penske marked its return to the Indy 500 after a five-year absence due to the open wheel split, after the 1995 PPG IndyCar World Series season. Later, in 2001 Roger Penske announced he would leave CART for the IRL IndyCar Series.
Team Penske currently fields four cars: the #2 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet for Juan Pablo Montoya, the #3 Shell Oil Company Dallara/Chevrolet driven by Hélio Castroneves, the #1 Verizon Wireless Dallara/Chevrolet driven by Will Power, and the #22 Penske Truck Rental Dallara/Chevrolet driven by Simon Pagenaud. Castroneves has won the Indianapolis 500 three times (2001, 2002 and 2009), as well as other CART and IRL races with Team Penske. Sam Hornish Jr. is the 2006 Indianapolis 500 winner and the (2001, 2002, and 2006) IndyCar Series Champion, with 16 IndyCar Wins. His 2001 and 2002 championships were with Panther Racing, prior to joining Team Penske. Juan Pablo Montoya is the 2015 Indianapolis 500 winner and the provisional leader in the championship with 2 wins in the season.
The open-wheel racing portion of Penske Racing had been based in Reading, Pennsylvania since 1973 with the cars, during the Formula One and CART era, being constructed in Poole, Dorset, England as well as being the base for the F1 team. On October 31, 2005, Penske Racing announced after the 2006 IRL season, they would consolidate IRL and NASCAR operations at the team's Mooresville North Carolina facility; with the flooding in Pennsylvania in 2006, the team's operations were moved to Mooresville earlier than expected.
Late in 2005, Team Penske announced primary sponsor Marlboro, which had been a sponsor with Team Penske since the 1989 Indianapolis 500, and primary sponsor of all Team Penske IndyCars since 1991, would not appear on the cars any longer in accordance with the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement restricting cigarette advertising by name. Since 2007, the IndyCar Series cars have carried "Team Penske" insignia and sponsorship from Mobil 1 (although the cars remained painted in the Marlboro color scheme—in Formula 1 the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro has a similar set up). For 2009, Cellco Partnership, a joint venture of Verizon and Vodafone, joined Exxon Mobil as associate sponsors, and the team will be billed as Verizon Championship Racing. The third car was driven by Will Power, originally a substitute for Castroneves, carried the #12 and featured primary sponsorship of both Cellco's Verizon Wireless brand and Roger Penske's truck rental business. In 2010, Phillip Morris USA discontinued their relationship with Team Penske, ending a 19-year partnership. The team subsequently changed their livery to black and white (similar to McLaren that have black-silver livery in 1997–2005), reflecting Verizon sponsorship. Team Penske became a three-car team for the first time since 1994, with the addition of a full-time team for Power.
Roger Penske announced a switch to Chevrolet powerplants for the 2012 IndyCar Series season. Once again, Penske would dominate the early portion of the season, winning 4 consecutive races, with Castroneves taking the season opener at St. Petersburg, and Power capturing wins at Barber, Long Beach, and São Paulo. Briscoe would have struggles throughout the season, but managed to find victory lane at Sonoma. However, Power would come up short in the championship after a crash at the season finale. Briscoe left the team after 2012 for other opportunities.
The 2015 season couldn't start better for the team, Juan Pablo Montoya won the first race of the season, his second win for Penske since he arrived from NASCAR in 2014, with teammates Will Power, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud (first season with the team) finishing 2nd, 4th and 5th. Power got a win at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis in the 5th race of the season and just 2 weeks later, the Colombian Montoya won Indy 500 leading again teammate Will Power. After 6 races so far in the season Montoya leads the championship by 25 points over Will Power, 61 points over Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon and 66 points over teammate Helio Castroneves.
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