Why Roger Penske will transform IndyCar and Indianapolis Speedway
By acquiring Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the IndyCar Series, Roger Penske has landed his greatest deal, and now faces one of his toughest jobs. But there is no better man to provide the adrenaline shot needed by U.S. open-wheel racing, writes David Malsher.
In the modern sense of the word, Roger Penske has ‘owned’ Indianapolis Motor Speedway for quite some time. His team’s 18 Indianapolis 500 wins are one obvious illustration of that, since nearest rival car owners Michael Andretti (2005-’17) and Lou Moore (1938-’49) are on five apiece, and Chip Ganassi (2000-’12) is on four. No less significant is how rarely Penske cars are off the pace at Indy: sure, the occasional bad pitstop or driver misjudgment will harm the result, but in terms of pace, The Captain’s armada is almost always right there.
That’s no surprise. It’s an open secret within Team Penske that the boss puts higher stock in conquering the Brickyard than winning the IndyCar championship, so much of the squad’s off-season car development goes into superspeedway improvements. And that will remain the case even now that Pocono Raceway’s deletion from the IndyCar calendar leaves IMS as the series’ only oval over 1.5 miles in length. Therefore, given the depth and quality of human and financial resources at the team’s disposal, it’s to be expected that Penske cars are prominent in the month of May.
Saturday, Oct. 16th, marks the 10th anniversary Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500.
Jack Harvey’s move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate, but their combined strength could prove golden, says David Malsher-Lopez.
Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong résumé and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear. By David Malsher-Lopez.
Alex Palou has captured Chip Ganassi Racing's 14th IndyCar drivers' championship, and in truly stellar manner. David Malsher-Lopez explains what made the Palou-Ganassi combo so potent so soon.
One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title
The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.
The ace 20-somethings in IndyCar have risen to become title contenders, but the best of the series veterans are digging deep and responding – and will continue to do so over the next couple of years, says David Malsher-Lopez.
Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves
Mark Miles to remain key IndyCar figure after Penske takeover
Michael Olinger, former IndyCar medical director, dies aged 69