Team Owner Roger Penske Reaches a New Plateau with NASCAR, IndyCar Twofer in '22

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NASCAR 75: #49 The Captain Reaches a New PlateauSean Gardner - Getty Images
  • Roger Penske as an owner has won 138 NASCAR Cup races, as well as three NASCAR Cup championship.

  • Team Penske has won two Cup championships with Joey Logano (2018 and, most recently, 2022) and one with Brad Keselowski .

  • One thing Penske was never able to have until the 2022 racing season was winning the championship in both IndyCar and NASCAR in the same season.

When it comes to motorsports, Roger Penske seemingly has it all. He owns the world’s most iconic racetrack, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as well as the top American open-wheel series, IndyCar.

He also owns the most successful IndyCar team ever, appropriately named Team Penske. His teams have earned 17 IndyCar championships and 230 race wins in the series, as well as taking the checkered flag at the Indianapolis 500 a record 18 times.

Team Penkse's first IndyCar win came with driver Mark Donohue at Riverside, Calif., in 1973.

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Roger Penske’s first NASCAR Cup win as a team owner came with driver Mark Donohue in 1973.RacingOne - Getty Images

In addition, Penske as an owner has won 138 NASCAR Cup races, as well as three NASCAR Cup championships: two with Joey Logano (2018 and, most recently, 2022), as well as Brad Keselowski (2012).

And there’s a number of additional championships and races won in other series, including IMSA and others. He’s also led teams in a variety of other series, including Formula 1, Australian SuperCars.

All told, Penske has earned nearly 550 wins as a team owner in various racing series.

But there’s one thing the man they call “The Captain,” who as a billionaire could buy pretty much anything he wants, was never able to have until the 2022 racing season, winning the championship in both IndyCar and NASCAR in the same season.

He now has Logano and IndyCar driver Will Power to thank for that.

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Roger Penske turns 86 years old in 2023.Chris Graythen - Getty Images

It was a crowning achievement for the soon-to-be 86-year-old Penske (his birthday is February 20).

When he was asked what is the secret behind all of the wins and championships, the Shaker Heights, Ohio native modestly says, “It’s all about the people around me. It’s not about me, it’s about them. They’re the ones who build the race cars, they’re the ones that go out and drive those cars, and they’re the ones that bring us so many wins and championships. I owe all our success to them.”

Roger Searle Penske has built his racing dynasty in much the same way that he’s built his non-racing business dynasty, which includes a number of businesses, starting with the parent Penske Corporation, dozens of auto dealerships and auto service centers throughout North America and Europe, as well as one of the largest and most successful truck and vehicle leasing companies.

He also has a private collection of race cars and regular street cars—including some of the most rare cars ever made—that reportedly numbers well over 200 vehicles. He even has a public street named for him—Roger Penske Drive—in Santa Ana, California.

A lifelong Republican and conservative politically—he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Donald Trump in 2019—according to Forbes, Penske is worth an estimated $2.8 billion. He has been married twice and is the father of five children.

Among the testimonials to Penske’s success in racing are his induction into a number of museums and Halls of Fame, including the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (1995), International Motorsports Hall of Fame (1998), Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame (2002), Automotive Hall of Fame (2015), Sports Car Club of America (2016) and the NASCAR Hall of Fame (2019).

Follow Autoweek contributor Jerry Bonkowski on Twitter @JerryBonkowski