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.

However, before running successful teams on the track, Penske was a racer in his own right – and an accomplished one at that. A recent story from Fortune delved into the businessman's early story to tell the intriguing tale. In the early '60s, Penske was a very hot prospect at the circuits, and in his rookie season of 1961 he won three consecutive Sports Car Club of America races to take a series championship. Eight more victories came in the next three years. That kind of triumph earned Penske the chance to test for the Indy 500 in 1965 – a dream for practically any American driver at the time.

That's also where the story gets interesting, and Fortune finds out how the paths of Penske and Mario Andretti intersect at this point. Head over there to read how Penske had his chance to make his name behind the wheel but chose a different, though still very successful, path.

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