Roger Penske stands among the most successful team owners in motorsports history. The man seems to have the Midas touch in racing no matter what the discipline with victories in Trans Am, IndyCar, NASCAR and endurance racing over his illustrious career. Plus, he has built a fortune from businesses like car dealers and truck rentals over the years and even nearly bought Saturn from General Motors at one point.
AJ Allmendinger did the crime when he took a pill offered by a "buddy" that was found to contain an amphetamine banned by NASCAR, then he did the time – losing his Penske drive and spending roughly two months in a Road to Recovery program – and now he's earned his way back into NASCAR society. The sport's governing body reinstated Allmendinger on Tuesday, so now the ex-IndyCar and NASCAR driver is waiting to figure out where he's going to go.
What else could Roger Penske say? As the promoter and most public face of the Detroit Grand Prix, what else could the man do besides promise that the miserable track surface will be fixed before next year's race? Oh yeah, he could have made sure that the Belle Isle circuit was properly prepared for last weekend's event, which most certainly did not happen.
Dodge has teased its 2013 Charger car for the Sprint Cup series, and perhaps it goes farthest with NASCAR's switch to bodies at its top level that look more like their street counterparts. In the deep red and shadows above you can make out the same greenhouse and character lines from the Charger in the showroom.
Roger Penske has run a NASCAR operation off and on since 1972, and continuously since 1991. In that time his drivers have piloted cars from AMC, Mercury, Pontiac, Chevrolet, Ford and, for the last nine years, Dodge. Penske announced this week, though, that 2012 would be his team's last year with Dodge and that 2013 would inaugurate a new partnership with Ford. There's another Dodge in the Sprint Cup field driven by Robby Gordon, but Penske has been Dodge's marquee and development team.
On or off the track, Roger Penske is a force to be reckoned with. His team has taken the victory lap 15 times at the Indianapolis 500 and his business ventures have made him one of America's richest and most powerful entrepreneurs.
First Toyota, now Volkswagen? According to the boys from Motor Trend, VeeDub is seriously considering entering into the bastion of American motorsport. That's right, NASCAR. While rumors of VW fielding a Formula 1 team have swirled for quite some time, this is the second time we've heard that the German automaker is considering American stock cars and oval tracks.
Rumors of IndyCar's Danica Patrick dipping a toe into the stock car racing pool have been swirling for months, but a new report suggests that an end to the rumors is near. ESPN says that Patrick is on the verge of signing a NASCAR Nationwide Series contract with JR Motorsports, the operation owned by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Unnamed sources that spoke to ESPN call the talks "near their final phase" and comment that it'd be a "surprise if it didn't happen." In any case, don't expect a formal announcem
Remember the rumor that Roger Penske is looking to bring Renault back to America via his recently-procured network of Saturn dealerships? Consider it a rumor no more, as the deed has been confirmed by none other than Renault's chief operating officer Patrick Pelata, who said in a recent interview:
According to The New York Times, General Motors has come to terms with a consortium led by industry icon Roger Penske to sell its ailing Saturn brand. The agreement, which is expected to be announced later today, will apparently see Penske add Saturn brand and its stand-alone showroom network to his existing portfolio of 310 global dealers.
As the bidding to take over over the Saturn brand from General Motors nears its conclusion, it looks increasingly likely that Roger Penske will walk away with the "prize." Regardless of who takes control, all Penske is slated to receive is a network of dealers and a brand name. GM has already announced it will cease producing new Saturn cars at the end of June 2009, which means the new owner will have to line up another company to provide products for those 380-odd stores. One of the rumors maki
Penske Automotive Group has reportedly contracted the services of former Chrysler President Tom LaSorda, who left the automaker when it filed for Chapter 11 protection on April 30th, to advise it on its possible bid to purchase the Saturn brand from current parent General Motors. Up until the year 2000 when he joined Chrysler, LaSorda had been an executive at GM.
The typical relationship between automakers and dealerships, of course, is for the dealers to sell the cars that the automaker produces. But with General Motors shedding like a dog in springtime, it's the dealers who have been looking to buy the brands themselves. Following interest expressed by German dealers to acquire Opel and a group of investors including equity firm Black Oak and the brand's own dealers to acquire Saturn, one of the country's biggest dealership groups is stepping up to the
If an emergency loan for the Detroit 3 makes it through Congress, part of the deal will be an overseer for the industry to make sure the money is spent wisely. Of course, the question is who will fill the car czar's slippers? MotorTrend editor Angus McKenzie has come out in favor of Roger Penske, an interesting choice particular considering his successful at the helm of various business endeavors, not to mention his racing teams. In the past, Penske has even been mentioned as a potential CEO of
Although he hasn't been to LeMans since the '70s, Roger Penske has apparently told AutoSport that he would 'love' to compete again at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After taking the ALMS LMP2 class title this year with the dominating Porsche RS Spyders, it's not too surprising to hear he might want to tackle the big show too.
The Detroit Grand Prix appears to be returning to the schedule thanks to Roger Penske. Penske is going to be holding a press conference today along with Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. AutoWeek is reporting that the race will return to Belle Isle, which last hosted a race in 2001. That was a CART race. This will be an IRL race. Plus ALMS. By including ALMS, there will be more corporate sponsorship opportunities for the race and hopefully more funding available to make it work.