Roger Penske, owner of Penske Automotive Group and multiple successful motorsports teams, will be the recipient of this year's Spirit of Competition Award from the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum.
An award gala for Penske will be held on Halloween night at the museum in Philadelphia.
“No one epitomizes the ‘Spirit of Competition’ more than Roger Penske,” said Fred Simeone, executive director of the museum. “He not only was an outstanding driver in his own right, but Team Penske is also one of the most successful racing teams in the history of motorsports.”
Along with successfully turning vehicles in the U.S. and beyond, Penske’s love of racing began racing in 1951 when he attended his first Indianapolis 500 with his father. Eventually, Penske became a winning sports car driver and was named “Sports Car Driver of the Year” by Sports Illustrated in 1961. He retired from racing in 1965 to open his first dealership in Philadelphia.
Roger Penske Racing — which would eventually become Team Penske — was formed in 1966 and debuted at the 24 Hours of Daytona, with headquarters initially in the Philadelphia suburb of Newtown Square.
Since then, Team Penske has become one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Cars owned and prepared by Team Penske have produced more than 500 major race wins, over 570 pole positions and 32 championships across open-wheel, stock car and sports car racing competition.
Over the course of its 52-year history, the team has also earned 17 Indianapolis 500 victories, two Daytona 500 Championships, a Formula 1 win and overall victories in the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Team Penske currently competes in the Verizon IndyCar Series, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The team also races in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, in a partnership with Dick Johnson Racing, as DJR Team Penske.
The “Spirit of Competition” is the theme of the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum and the focus of the annual fundraiser. Past recipients of the award are:
2008: Mario Andretti
2009: Janet Guthrie
2010: John Fitch
2011: Craig Breedlove
2012: Sam Posey
2013: Hurley Haywood
2014: Bobby Rahal
2015: David Hobbs
2016: Peter Brock
2017: Derek Bell
AutoNation celebrates Drive Pink Across America Day
In other dealer group news, AutoNation commemorated Breast Cancer Awareness Month on Thursday. Thousands of associates from coast to coast assembled and delivered gift bags filled with items designed specially to bring comfort to children and adults undergoing cancer treatments.
It is all part of AutoNation’s Drive Pink Initiative that has raised more than $15 million to fund cancer-related nonprofits and research toward finding a cure.
“In 2018, AutoNation accelerated its mission to help drive out cancer by partnering with multi-platinum pop recording artist Andy Grammer, who lost his mother Kathy to breast cancer. His song ‘Give Love’ was written in her honor and now our Associates from coast to coast will give their love by delivering gift bags to those battling the disease,” said Mike Jackson, AutoNation’s chairman, chief executive officer and president.
Since launching Drive Pink in 2015, AutoNation associates have participated in local fundraising events to support cancer-related charities like Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., Wipe out Kids Cancer in Dallas and Jamie’s Hope in Houston.
During the second annual Drive Pink Across America Day, associates from AutoNation stores nationwide delivered more than 5,000 gift bags to local cancer treatment facilities.