Roger Penske is by far the most successful owner/ entrant in the history of the Indianapolis 500 with 16 victories through 2015, thus more than tripling Lou Moore’s record of five established from 1938 through 1949. Following his first win in 1972 with Mark Donohue, Penske won four times with Rick Mears (1979, 1984, 1988, and 1991), three times with Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002, and 2009), and once each with Bobby Unser (1981), Danny Sullivan (1985), Al Unser (1987), Emerson Fittipaldi (1993), Al Unser, Jr., (1994), Gil DeFerran (2003), Sam Hornish, Jr. (2006), and Juan Pablo Montoya (2015). A successful sports car driver, Penske won the 1962 L.A. Times Grand Prix at Riverside and finished the year as the United States Auto Club Road Racing champion.
After competing in the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, New York, in 1961 and 1962 and winning all three Nassau Trophy races in the Bahamas in 1964, Penske retired from driving to pursue business interests. The scope of successes by Team Penske since the mid-1960s includes race wins and championships (28 total through August 2015) in such diversified racing disciplines as United States Auto Club and Championship Auto Racing Team National Championship racing, Sports Car Club of America’s Can-Am series, Trans-Am, NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing), and long distance endurance races, typically competing for several different championships at the same time. Penske entries have won such marquee races as the 24-Hours of Daytona, 12-Hours of Sebring, and the Daytona 500, as well as the 1976 Grand Prix of Austria with Irishman John Watson during a brief run in Formula One racing.
Courtesy of Indianapolis Motors Speedway Museum