Contract Status: Driver: 2014+; Sponsor: ?;
Montoya could run the Brickyard 400: Juan Pablo Montoya, former NASCAR driver [#42 Target Chevy], current driver of the #2 Verizon Indy car for Team Penske, met with members of the media on Orlando, FL and discussed his return to IndyCar among other topics, the transcript in part:
Q. Can you reflect a little bit on the NASCAR journey? What are your thoughts with Speedweeks going on? Does it feel odd at all that you're not there? Do you feel like you're where you belong?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: It's a feeling that I wasn't missing it probably. It was weird actually. A month ago when they did their first set, I was with my son racing at Homestead. I got a text from Chevy, We're missing you. I'm like, Why are you missing me (laughter)? I had no idea they were even testing. It's nice to do what I'm doing right now. I feel really happy. I'm really excited to be part of Team Penske. It's a tough challenge ahead of me. I know that. It seems weird because it seems like race speed is really good when we're in race trim. Our pace is really good. I was telling my guys, like my race engineer, If you really look at it, even on new tires, I'm not missing corners. There's a lot of room there for improvement and I know that. It's not bad. It's a process, I guess, I hope.
Q. You were talking about it being a difficult challenge. Obviously it was a difficult challenge when you moved over to NASCAR.
MONTOYA: It's completely different. The NASCAR one was one that it was like, Where the hell am I? The cars were very different. There was a lot of movement. This is the opposite because in NASCAR the limit of the car is very easy. You can get to the limit of the car very easy. The big thing is you're driving it too hard. In IndyCar, you can't drive it hard enough, or at least I can't yet. I'm leaving a lot on the table. I think that's the biggest thing.
Q. Having been successful in virtually every motorsports field you have taken part in, how do you look back and judge NASCAR?
MONTOYA: When we had good cars, we did good. When we had bad cars, we did bad. I think as a team we threw a lot of races away. It's part of the thing you always do. The point is when you're winning races, you throw a lot away and you still win a few. When you're not winning races, you notice the things you throw away. I think that's the biggest difference. The focus for me now is IndyCar 100%. I'm pumped about it. I feel like a complete rookie right now, so it's pretty cool.
Q. Roger (Penske) said with the right funding, he'd like to see you run the Brickyard 400. Is that something else you want to do? A fan on Twitter wants to know if you have any interest in running the NASCAR road courses as well?
MONTOYA: I think the Brickyard would be a good thing. I've been so close so many times, it would be a good way of closing that chapter with a good win there. I know Roger hasn't won there. If we could get the opportunity to do it, I think it would be pretty cool.
Q. Is there any consideration this year to try to run the Daytona 500 and Indy 500, to be the guy to win them both?
MONTOYA: No, unless Roger asks me.
Q. Have you asked him?
MONTOYA: No. I got enough things going on. No, no, no, no, no (laughter).(Team Chevy)(2-19-2014)
Ryan Blaney to make Cup debut, run more NNS races: Team Penske announced that 20-year-old Ryan Blaney will expand his driving duties beginning in 2014. The third-generation driver will compete in 15 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) races with Team Penske in 2014 and will also make his debut in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS), running at least two events behind the wheel of the #12 SKF Ford Fusion with the first coming at Kansas Speedway in May. Blaney's first Nationwide Series start of 2014 is scheduled to come at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 22. The remainder of his NNS schedule will be announced at a later date. In addition to Kansas, Blaney's other scheduled Sprint Cup Series start will come at Talladega Superspeedway in October. "I am excited to continue my racing career with Team Penske," said Blaney, who's earned one win, two top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 10 starts behind the wheel of the #22 over the last two years. "I'm really looking forward to racing more in the Nationwide Series and it will be a dream come true for me to race in the Sprint Cup Series. I want to thank Roger Penske, our team sponsors and everyone at Team Penske for this opportunity and for believing in me." In addition to his expanded schedule for Team Penske this season, Blaney will also continue to race full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Brad Keselowski Racing (BKR), the team owned by Blaney's Team Penske teammate. Blaney, the son of Sprint Cup Series driver Dave Blaney, has produced two wins, one pole and 16 top-10 finishes in 28 Truck Series races for the BKR team over the last two seasons. He finished sixth in the series point standings last season. "We believe Ryan is one of the most promising young drivers in NASCAR and we want to continue his growth and development with Team Penske," said team owner Roger Penske. "Ryan's win at Kentucky in the #22 car last year showed what he is capable of and we hope to experience many more moments in Victory Lane with him in the coming seasons."(Team Penske)(1-29-2014)
Hornish gets part time ride for 2014 UPDATE: Sam Hornish Jr. will share seat time with Kyle Busch in the #54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the Nationwide Series this season. Hornish could not be reached for comment.(Fox Sports)(1-6-2014)
UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced that it has signed driver Sam Hornish, Jr. to drive the #54 Monster Energy Toyota in seven NASCAR Nationwide Series races in 2014. "I'm excited about driving the #54 Monster Energy car this year. It's a great opportunity for me," said Hornish. "It's the best possible situation for me to jump into great equipment and have the opportunity to go right out and win. After working with Penske for 10 years and now to have the opportunity to partner with Joe Gibbs Racing, I couldn't have asked for anything better. These are great people, top notch. To partner with Kyle, and all this team provides, with the support of Joe and J.D., it provides me with everything I need to succeed. It's also a phenomenal opportunity for me to partner with a market leader such as Monster Energy. The brand identity and fan following that goes along with this sponsor is super. I can't wait to get into that car!"
The #54 Monster Energy Toyota will run a full season schedule for JGR with crew chief Adam Stevens returning to call the shots from atop the pit box. Kyle Busch will return to pilot the Camry in 26 races, while Hornish will fill the driver's seat in the remaining seven races. "We're excited to have someone of Sam's caliber joining Kyle behind the wheel of the Monster Energy Camry this year," said J.D. Gibbs, President of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We think we have a great team there with Monster Energy and Sam will be an outstanding addition. We lost out on the owner's championship by just one point last year so our focus will be on trying to get that title back in 2014."
Hornish has spent the past two seasons driving the #12 car for Penske Racing in the Nationwide Series. Last season he recorded one win, 16 top-five and 25 top-ten finishes and captured four pole awards. In 99 career starts, Hornish has two wins, 28 top-five and 53 top-ten finishes. He also has made 130 career starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Hornish's first race behind the wheel of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota will be May 3 at Talladega. In addition he will race both Iowa Speedway races, Road America, Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, Mid-Ohio, and Kentucky Speedway on September 20.(JGR)(1-6-2014)
Penske, Hornish part ways: Sam Hornish Jr. drove his final race for Roger Penske when he finished 12th in the Nationwide Series season finale Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Hornish came up three points shy of going out with a championship. He ended up second to Austin Dillon in the final standings. Sprint Cup regular Kyle Busch won the race. Hornish was near the front for much of the 200 laps, but faltered down the stretch on worn tires. Now, he faces an uncertain future.
"To see Sam race at the level he did with Kyle, right there all night, shows what a great racer he is," Penske said. "My issue with myself is I started him in the Cup level with no practice. One of the greatest open-wheel racers we had in IndyCar. I think maybe I started his career backwards." So far, Hornish has no ride set up for 2014. He declined to even talk to Chip Ganassi Racing about replacing Dario Franchitti, the four-time IndyCar champion who abruptly retired earlier this week because of injuries and health concerns. With Hornish committed to stock-car racing, some wonder where he will land next season. Penske, though, doesn't believe Hornish's NASCAR career is over.
"I think people want him," said Penske, who still managed to win the Nationwide owners' championship. "I think he's going to have a chance to drive something next year. A couple things out there look quite promising. I would support him always. He needs to have a good ride because he's a quality guy, a family man. Remember, he won an Indy 500 for us. That's pretty special." But Penske told the 34-year-old Hornish he needs to be racing in the Cup series, where he doesn't have a spot for his longtime driver.
Hornish hasn't even hinted about his future, only saying he'd rather be a NASCAR test driver than an IndyCar regular. "There's a lot of uncertainty at this point in time, but I feel as if we'll be able to make something happen," Hornish said. "But, like I've said in the past, it's all about trying to position me to move forward in some way. I don't want to take any more steps backward or be in something that's not going to give me the opportunity to go out there and be competitive and have an opportunity to at least run in the top 10. It wouldn't be optimal to run a part-time schedule, but it might help me out. I might be able to go and do testing. I might be able to learn a lot of other things and to be able to forge forward and to be even better in the next go-round."(Associated Press)(11-18-2013)
Hornish not interested in replacing Franchitti: Sam Hornish Jr. said Friday he has no interest in returning to IndyCar to replace Dario Franchitti at Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Hornish said the team reached out to his representatives this week when Franchitti was told by doctors he can no longer race because of the risk of injury is too great. "I expressed I was very grateful even for the call," Hornish said. "A door opens and the reason still stands to not do it. It's just any time I've had a thought or thought about that at all, it's been like very minimal." Even though he heads into Saturday's final Nationwide Series race of the season with no job lined up for 2014. Hornish believes he should have a Cup ride next year. "I definitely feel I belong in the Cup Series," Hornish said. "Taking the step back was to prove what I've known for a long time: given the equipment, the right people around me, what I would be capable of. Because I'd been so successful on the IndyCar side, I was going to pick up the car and carry it on my back if it wasn't good enough."(Associated Press)(11-16-2013)
Penske Racing partners with Jergens Workholding Solutions: Jergens Inc. is proud to announce it has been named the Preferred Workholding Solutions Supplier of Penske Racing. Working together with Penske Manufacturing, Jergens Workholding Solutions is bringing advanced quick-change fixturing to Penske machine shop operations. In the fast-paced world of NASCAR Racing, speed behind the scenes is critical to success on the track. Jergens Quick-Change Fixturing provides Penske Racing the ability to accelerate production and prototyping to improve their "Speed to Track." Penske Racing also named Jergens Tooling Components Division the Preferred Supplier of Kwik-Lok quick release pins, hoist rings and lifting hardware.(Penske / Jergens PR)(11-3-2013)
Hornish Jr. in the offer-taking stage for a 2014 ride: Sam Hornish Jr. could end the season as 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion - and unemployed. "I'm in the offer-taking stage right now. At this point they don't have anything for me at Penske (Racing) next year," Hornish said during an interview with RacinToday on Thursday. "It's not anything performance-wise. It's strictly money and not on our side of the deal. They're having to shuffle things around to accommodate other people." Hornish, driver of Roger Penske's #12 Ford Mustang, will take a 15-point lead over Austin Dillon of Richard Childress Racing into Saturday afternoon's 5-Hour Energy 200 at the 1-mile Dover International Speedway.
Hornish's "other people" reference was to 19-year-old Ryan Blaney, a developmental driver under contract to Penske Racing but without a fulltime ride heading into 2014. Blaney scored his breakthrough Nationwide Series win in his second start during Saturday night's Kentucky 300 at the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway. Blaney's win was Penske's 10th of the season in the #22 Discount Tire Ford among four different drivers. Hornish finished fourth at Kentucky to retain his point lead with six races remaining. Hornish, who is in his second fulltime Nationwide season for Penske, indicated he was blindsided by the decision that likely will end his six-year stock car association with the organization. "There's not a whole lot of anything out there when I was told this," Hornish said during a telephone interview. "If that was the case I should have known at the end of July. I found out a couple of weeks ago and I gave them some time to get ahead of it so it wouldn't look like I'm trying to blow them out of the water."
Hornish said he has begun shopping his services to rival team-owners in the garage area. "And what I get is they have no idea I'm available," said Hornish. "The comments I get from people I do talk to are like, 'We just put something together you would have been a great candidate for.' I'm hoping to have something (in NASCAR for 2014). Don't know what it'll be or what it'll look like, so it's not the best feeling." Neither Penske nor Tim Cindric, Penske Racing president, was available this week for comment on Hornish's future. But Hornish, who will drive the No. 12 Snap-on Ford at Dover, said Penske indicated he would be willing to field him in Nationwide again if proper funding could be secured. Asked if he might change his mind if no NASCAR ride materializes and return to the IndyCar Series, Hornish reiterated: "I don't see myself doing that."(in part from RacinToday)(9-28-2013)
Penske says no deals made at Richmond: Roger Penske was set to surrender his usual spot on the spotter stand for a seat in a suite. It's one concession from the fallout of the Richmond scandal. But Penske, back at a NASCAR track for the first time since the sport's big embarrassment, insisted his team was in the clear and knew nothing about a deal with Front Row Motorsports to get #22-Joey Logano into the Chase. "We didn't do anything, quite obviously," Penske said Sunday at New Hampshire. "When I heard the crew chief on whatever car it was made all this big noise, we didn't have any deal at all. That's how people role play stuff in NASCAR. I think at the end of the day, it worked out for everybody and we're moving on." Penske said he had only watched one race at a NASCAR track from a spot other than the spotter stand. "I'm going to find a nice spot in the suite," he said, "or maybe I'll stay home and watch on TV."
Penske has plenty on his plate besides dealing with NASCAR's penalties and hoping Logano can rebound from his 12th-place spot in the Chase to work his way into contention. His IndyCar Series team signed former Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya to mark an open-wheel return and he's trying to find a Cup ride in 2014 for Sam Hornish Jr. Hornish is closing in on a championship in the Nationwide Series but his status for next season is up in the air. With Logano and defending champion Brad Keselowski locked into the two Penske Cup seats, there's no room at Penske in the top series for Hornish, who has made 93 career Nationwide starts for Penske and has run 130 Cup races for him since 2007. Penske said he's yet to make a decision on Hornish's future. "There have been other teams that have contacted him," he said. "I just told him, `Hey, take a good look and see what's out there.' That's what we're doing right now." Penske ruled out any interest in Martin Truex Jr. or expanding his Cup team or Nationwide teams beyond two cars each.(Associated Press)(9-22-2013)
Congrats to the Hornish's: Sam Hornish Jr. got emotional when discussing the Nationwide Series' debut at Mid-Ohio in the first Nationwide Children's Hospital 200. Hornish, who comes from roughly 2 hours away to the northwest in Defiance, Ohio, didn't previously know about the hospital's work with seriously sick, burned, ill and injured kids until he became involved in the race. Active in his own charity, Hornish said the good work of the people at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus really touched home with him because, as he put it, "I'm a father of two daughters, with another (child) on the way." Asked later if he was officially revealing his wife's pregnancy, he laughed and said, "We've told a few people. We didn't exactly issue a news release." Officially or unofficially, the Hornishes are expecting in February.(AP)(8-18-2013)
Hornish Jr. to make 2013 Cup debut at Kansas: #12-Sam Hornish Jr. has 129 NSCS starts with five of those coming at Kansas, but this will mark his first start in the Gen 6 Ford Fusion. Crew chief Greg Erwin likes Kansas Speedway and he has two NSCS victories at the venue (2007 & 2010). This weekend is the first of two NSCS events that Hornish and the #12 SKF Ford are scheduled to compete in this year (fall Talladega race) Due to members of the #12 NNS Penske pit crew having other NSCS roles this weekend, the pit crew of the #22 NNS Penske Ford will pit the #12 SKF Ford with the lone exception being Fueler Kellen Mills, who is a team regular.(Penske Racing)(4-18-2013)
Hornish Jr. back with Penske in 2013, to run full-time NNS and some Cup: from a SRT Motorsports - Dodge Roger Penske Open Interview - Homestead-Miami Speedway, one question concerned Ryan Blaney and Penske mentioned plans for Sam Hornish Jr. in 2013:
Q. You mentioned young drivers. What are the plans for Ryan Blaney for next year?
Roger Penske: "Well, right now I know there's some people asking me some questions when I walked in. We've signed Sam up to drive the #12 car, Alliance car in Nationwide next year. We have a commitment for a number of Cup races on a third car, which Sam will be there to run those races. And Blaney at this point, we're considering him to be -- to drive the truck. Haven't announced it yet. It's not a done deal. But we'd like to see him in the truck, and also we'll provide him some Nationwide rides. We started with him maybe running two or three this year, and I think he'll end up with seven or eight. We think that he's a fine young man, and he's got a lot to learn like they all do, but I think he's certainly coming from a family that's been racing, and he seems to have the talent. There's a lot of good young talent out there today, so we certainly want to support him."(SRT/Dodge/RAM Motorsports PR)(11-17-2012)
Penske engineer and wife looking to adopt child from Ethiopia UPDATE: When Aron Oakley met his future wife, Robyn, he quickly discovered her huge heart. The Penske Racing aerodynamics engineer also realized she had plenty of love to go around. Not long after the couple met in 2004, Robyn shared her desire to adopt a child from Africa. Two years later, the couple married. While their family has grown with three little girls, ages 1 to 4, the dream of adopting a child in need never waned. In May, the Oakleys ramped up the process. The couple narrowed their search to an Ethiopian boy "to balance our house full of girls," Robyn said, and enlisted the services of West Sands Adoptions. For the initial expense to expedite the adoption, the NASCAR community has stepped up to help the Oakley's.
The "Our Journey to Bring You Home Silent Auction Fundraiser", held July 14th helped the Oakley's get within $10,000 of their goal, They have a sale this weekend [Sept 22-23] with Suki from Stella and Dot set up and selling, Julie Fay from Thirty-One Gifts and Jenn Harrington from Scentsy. They are donating all of the proceeds and are also taking orders online. There will be an auction on Saturday, September 22nd at the Wynfield Club House, Huntersville, NC. Those who can't make it or are not in the area can bid online. Some of the items include: Danica Patrick signed crew shirt, Denny Hamlin signed firesuit, Ryan Newman signed tire, catering package, bowling birthday package, bike tune ups and other items. For all the info and link, go to ourjourneytobringyouhome.org.(some of this post is from a Fox Sports story)(9-18-2012)
Penske plans to keep Hornish in 2013: in part from a Penske Racing Media Teleconference featuring Joey Logano and Tim Cindric:
It was announced yesterday that Joey Logano will join the Penske Racing organization in 2013 as he will begin a multi-year agreement to drive the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Joey will join Brad Keselowski and the #2 Miller Lite Ford team to form a potent Cup Series combination for Penske Racing next season. One of the media questions for Penske Racing president Tim Cindric was about the future of Sam Hornish Jr., currently the full-time driver for Penske Racing in the Nationwide Series and in the #22 Sprint Cup Series ride.
Q.) Tim, where does this leave Sam (Hornish Jr.) with Penske Racing and plans for the future?
TIM CINDRIC: Obviously Sam has done a great job for us, picking up where we needed to go from Daytona onwards. I think we continue to see him grow in his abilities as a Cup driver, working with (crew chief) Todd Gordon and the guys. I think you saw that this weekend at Atlanta. I think we'll continue to move that forward. He's going to continue to drive the 22 car for the remainder of the year. We've continued to work on putting a Cup program together for Sam; we just haven't been able to close that process yet. I foresee Sam driving for us a full season Nationwide next year and hopefully some Cup races, as well.
Q.) Sam's future, is it possible you could put together a third Sprint Cup car for him next year?
TIM CINDRIC: That would certainly be our first preference, a third full-time Cup car. It's pretty late in the season. The potential we had for that in terms of sponsorship, they haven't come to fruition yet. I think you'll see him in a couple (Cup) races for sure. We haven't been able to build on that. We haven't been able to get more than a couple races at this time. As far as a full season Nationwide, that's what I envision happening for sure.(Penske Racing Media Conference)(9-6-2012)
Roush says Penske will use Roush-Yates engines: UPDATES: Jack Roush says Penske has decided to run Roush-Yates Ford engines next season. Penske has said he will not be shutting down the 80-man operation he currently has, but it would seem unlikely that Ford would care for one of its star new players to also continue building Dodge engines on the side. A possible sale of that engine shop to Dodge itself has been speculated as the only logical solution.
Roush: "Roger and I will cooperate on things that are in our common interests, and we will compete on things that reflect our need to be independent and justify our space on the race track. We've done the bulk of the work on the 2013 car; we did invite them to have a look at what we've done in concert with Ford, and made sure we had their blessing, along with the other Ford teams involved. The indication are -- though I don't know if the papers have been signed yet -- that he will use our engines. He does have a few things he does different with his cars and the way the engines are mounted; so we'll respect his experience and his package preference. Whether we wind up with the same package for all Ford cars or not is yet to be determined."
Roush, asked about the possibility of Penske becoming a business partner with Roush and Doug Yates in the engine operations, said "There is no plan on the table for Roger for any ownership in the engine program. But I stop short of saying that would never be a consideration going forward."(MikeMulhern.net)(8-4-2012)
UPDATE: Roush Yates Engines announced that it will provide Ford FR9 engines to Penske Racing beginning with the 2013 NASCAR season. Penske Racing announced earlier this year that it would be returning to Ford Racing in 2013 in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. "It's truly an honor to provide Penske Racing with Roush Yates Ford engines," said Doug Yates, CEO of Roush Yates. "I have always admired Roger Penske as a team owner and a respected businessman in our sport and beyond. I am looking forward to many wins, championships, and other successes in supporting the Penske organization." Penske Racing fielded Ford entries from 1991 through 2002. "Ford has been consistent in its belief that we will be stronger with one engine specification rather than continuing with an independent approach," said Tim Cindric, President of Penske Racing. "Roush Yates has a proven record and we are looking forward to many successes together."(Roush Yates)(8-6-2012)
UPDATE 2: Penske Racing will switch to Roush Yates horsepower in its 2013 move to Ford in the Sprint Cup Series, but the team still is exploring ways to keep its 63 engine employees. Penske President Tim Cindric told USA Today Sports that still building motors for Dodge teams in NASCAR's premier series wouldn't be an option, though. "Relative to us, they said they're going in a different direction," Cindric said. "We don't see there being any more potential on the NASCAR side with Dodge." Cindric said Penske has explored sending some of its engine staff to Roush Yates, reassigning others within Penske Racing and perhaps pursuing engine projects in other series with the rest of the employees in a scaled-down engine room. "We feel our biggest asset wasn't the (horsepower) but the people," Cindric said. "That's a strong group of people we didn't want to break up."(USA Today)(8-7-2012)
Penske still undecided about future engine program: Roger Penske, who announced in March that his Penske Racing team would move from fielding Dodges to Fords, still has not made a final decision on whether to build his own engines, lease them from Roush Yates Engines or possibly become a partner in Roush Yates Engines. The Penske engine shop is not located at its main car manufacturing facility in North Carolina and could be spun off into a Dodge engine building facility. "We're still trying to finish up the final discussion with Dodge, what they're going to do," Penske said. "We obviously have the option with Roush Yates, which we're looking at also."(Sporting News)(7-30-2012)
Hornish would like to drive the #22 if......: Sam Hornish Jr. has let Penske Racing officials know he is interested in driving the #22 Sprint Cup car full time if AJ Allmendinger's suspension becomes lengthy. Allmendinger was "temporarily suspended" by NASCAR prior to Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway because he failed a drug test. He has requested a test of the "B" sample of the test he took the previous week at Kentucky. If that test comes back negative, Allmendinger will be re-instated. If that test supports the "A" test, which typically is the case, then Allmendinger would have to go through NASCAR's Road to Recovery program that likely would keep him out at least through the rest of this season. Hornish was a last-minute replacement for Allmendinger at Daytona, finishing 33rd after a blown tire midway through the race all but ended his night. He was tabbed on Monday to drive this weekend at New Hampshire. "This is definitely not the way that I would like to do it," Hornish said of getting back in a Cup car. "But at the end of the day, I feel like with the way things have been in racing lately, I feel like you take what you can get at this point and time." Hornish said he texted team owner Roger Penske on Sunday morning to let him know he was available if Allmendinger's suspension lingered the rest of this season and into 2013. He was adamant it was not out of disrespect to Allmendinger, whose contract ends after this season. There has been speculation that Nationwide sponsors, led by Alliance Truck Parts, might follow Hornish into Cup next year. But there are no guarantees like there would be with #22 sponsored by Shell Pennzoil, which sponsored Hornish during his IndyCar championship runs in 2001 and 2002. He said Penske won't make a decision on the rest of the 22 schedule until the "B" sample results are in -- likely by the end of this week -- noting there will be plenty of time because Cup has as week off after this weekend (ESPN).
AND other drivers supposedly under consideration for the #22 ride in 2013 if Allmendinger doesn't return to the ride include Trevor Bayne, currently driving part time in the NNS for Roush Fenway Racing and in Sprint Cup Series part time for #21 Wood Brothers Racing and Joey Logano, who is likely out of the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing ride after this season with Matt Kenseth taking over the #20 Toyota with Home Depot and Dollar General remaining as the sponsors for the #20 JGR team.(7-10-2012)
Hornish will remain in the #22 at New Hampshire: Penske Racing Statement: "Penske Racing is continuing to work with NASCAR to follow its process and procedures related to the positive drug test that AJ Allmendinger was notified of this past weekend. While this process continues, Sam Hornish Jr. will drive the #22 car in this week's Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway."(Penske Racing)(7-9-2012)
Dodge buying Penske's engine program? For those worried about Dodge perhaps folding its tent at the end of 2012, without any teams yet on its 2013 NASCAR roster, the good news is that Chrysler officials, according to company sources, have just ordered a full inventory of Penske's NASCAR engine operation (80-men strong), with firm indications the company will buy Penske's Dodge operation and go into the NASCAR 'customer engine' business itself, just as Toyota does with its Los Angeles-based TRD NASCAR engine building program. Such a move by Chrysler would open the door for someone like Michael Andretti to venture into NASCAR with a new Sprint Cup team (even though Penske himself has warned Andretti that running a NASCAR team requires five times as many people and three times as much money to operate as an Indy-car team). One Dodge question is whether the Richard Petty two-car team, currently fielding Fords, with factory support, would stick with Ford or move to Dodge.(MikeMulhern.net)(7-7-2012)
Penske engineer and wife looking to adopt child from Ethiopia: When Aron Oakley met his future wife, Robyn, he quickly discovered her huge heart. The Penske Racing aerodynamics engineer also realized she had plenty of love to go around. Not long after the couple met in 2004, Robyn shared her desire to adopt a child from Africa. Two years later, the couple married. While their family has grown with three little girls, ages 1 to 4, the dream of adopting a child in need never waned. In May, the Oakleys ramped up the process. The couple narrowed their search to an Ethiopian boy "to balance our house full of girls," Robyn said, and enlisted the services of West Sands Adoptions. For the initial expense to expedite the adoption, the NASCAR community has stepped up to help the Oakleys with "Our Journey to Bring You Home Silent Auction Fundraiser" to be held July 14. For those near Lake Norman, NC, the auction will be conducted at Eez Fusion from 2-5 p.m. ET, but race fans also can participate by phone. Details are at ourjourneytobringyouhome.org. Some of the items include a signed firesuit worn by Tony Stewart during his quest for the NASCAR Sprint Cup title last year, signed sheet metal and tires from Ryan Newman, Richard Petty Experience ride-alongs, wind-tunnel time at AeroDyn A2 Wind Tunnel and race tickets to Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Oakleys are hoping to raise the $35,000 it will take to complete the adoption, which includes a home study, the dossier and travel.(Fox Sports)(7-6-2012)
Hornish Jr. scheduled to make two Cup starts: Sam Hornish Jr. is scheduled to make two Sprint Cup Series starts for Penske Racing at Kansas in April and Talladega in October. SKF will be the sponsor. See an image of the scheme on the #12 Team Schemes page.(3-30-2012)
Hornish Jr. to attempt Kansas Sprint Cup race: Sam Hornish Jr., will debut the #12 SKF Dodge Charger and make his first start of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season Sunday afternoon in the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway (KS). Hornish's return to Kansas marks his first time back to the track since 2010, when he competed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. This will mark Hornish's fourth NSCS start at KS. From 2006 to present, Hornish has made a total of 109 NSCS starts. He has scored two top-five and eight top-10 finishes during that time. Hornish is also scheduled to drive the #12 SKF Dodge Charger at Talladega in the Good Sam Club 500 NSCS race in October. SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. This race marks the first time that SKF will be a primary sponsor of the Penske Racing Dodge Charger in the Sprint Cup Series and this is its 15th year as a NSCS sponsor. The #12 SKF Dodge crew is comprised of the members of the Penske Racing #12 Alliance Truck Parts/Wurth Dodge Nationwide Series team, with a couple of personnel changes to the pit crew.(Penske Racing), see an image of the SKF scheme on my #12 Team Schemes page.(4-18-2012)
New engines for Penske: There will be new power in the Penske Dodges when they hit the track for the Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. Both the #2 Miller Lite Charger (Brad Keselowski) and the #22 Shell Pennzoil Charger (A.J. Allmendinger) will be running with SRT Motorsports newly updated R6P8 racing engine. "We are excited to launch our new "closed deck" engine block with Penske Racing Engines for the Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville this weekend," said Dave Bailey, SRT Motorsports Engineering. "We are very pleased with the performance and durability of our previous 'open deck' block, but are introducing design changes to help improve head gasket life and future capability for power increases. The post machining and processing time at Penske's engine shop will be significantly reduced. We will also take advantage of weight improvements that come along with the base block material changing to "compacted graphite iron" similar to the other manufacturers. We worked closely with NASCAR to ensure the changes are compliant and have competitive parity."(Allpar.com)(3-30-2012)
Penske may continue to build Dodge engines after 2012: Penske Racing will run Fords in NASCAR's premier series next season, but the team owner said Saturday his Sprint Cup team still could be building Dodge engines. Penske hasn't decided whether to use motors from Roush Yates, which currently supplies all of Ford's teams in Cup. But Penske said his 70-person engine staff would be unaffected if he elects to align with the motors used by Roush Fenway Racing. "We have a lot of people calling us wanting to run Dodges," Penske said as his Izod IndyCar Series teams prepared to qualify for the season opener on the streets of St. Pete. "We're going to keep our engine shop open obviously. We have a big investment there. We're certainly not going to shut the door. There's a lot of speculation, but I can assure you that engine shop will continue to operate in some mode one way or the other. Because we've got chassis dynos and things that we wouldn't have the success today without what those guys have done. If Dodge is interested, if we would go to a separate source (for engines), then our shop could be available to do Dodge work for sure." Penske said he hasn't met with Roush yet, but his team has scheduled several meetings with Ford officials.(see full article and more quotes at the USA Today)(3-25-2012)
Where does Dodge go in 2013? A new manufacturer in Cup? Dodge will unveil its 2013 Sprint Cup car on March 11 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. However, the bigger question now is who will be driving Dodges next year? #7-Robby Gordon Motorsports would be the lone team at this point after Penske Racing announced Thursday that it was moving to manufacturer Ford in 2013. But Dodge has also reached out to other teams, including Richard Petty Motorsports [#43 & #9], according to owner Andy Murstein. "We received calls from several manufacturers today asking if they could meet with us," Murstein said. "It seems that while sponsorship is down, car manufacturer support is strong. That is probably due to the fact that the car companies are all doing significantly better these days than a few years ago. Thus Petty has been approached by several manufacturers recently. What's interesting is that while there are the usual suspects there is one new manufacturer that is trying to break into the sport. RPM's contract with Ford is up at the end of the season. Petty ran Dodges from 1972 to 1978. Petty Enterprises aligned with Dodge again when the manufacturer returned to NASCAR competition in 2001 through most of the 2009 season, then under the RPM banner. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing president Steve Lauletta said the company had not yet been approached by Dodge.(Fox Sports)
AND: Richard Petty Motorsports said: "We welcome Penske Racing to the Ford Racing Family in 2013. Additional teams mean more information for everyone and that's a very good thing from a competition standpoint. We have a partnership with Roush Fenway Racing and we are happy to be a part of the Ford Racing program. As we always do, we will evaluate all of our options and make decisions based on what is ultimately best for our race team."(RPM)(3-2-2012)
Penske switching to Ford in 2013: UPDATES: Penske Racing will in 2013 switch from Dodge to Ford in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition, automotive-industry sources have informed Autoweek. An official announcement is expected midday Thursday. Penske fields Dodge Chargers for #2-Brad Keselowski and #22-A. J. Allmendinger. When Penske returned [too NASCAR] in 1991 he fielded Pontiacs through the 1994 season. He switched to Fords for the next eight seasons, 1995 through 2002, before forming his alliance with Dodge which reached nine years last season. All told, he's fielded 1,503 Cup entries, won 96 poles and 71 races. His cars have finished in the top-five 333 times and in the top-10 573 times. Penske Racing has never won a Cup championship but has been top-10 in final points 19 times. But Penske Racing has been in a mini slump of late. It has won at least one race every year since 1991 but has only 18 wins in 768 starts dating to 2004. The year before, Newman won eight races, more than half his NASCAR career total of 15. The Dodge years, beginning in 2003, are somewhat deceiving. Newman, in his second full year with Penske Racing, won eight races for Dodge in 2003, by far the brand's best NASCAR showing since its glory days with Richard Petty in the 1970s. Wallace won once in his next-to-last season of 2004, and Newman gave Dodge only three wins in his last four years with Penske. Kurt Busch won 10 times for Dodge in his six seasons with Penske Racing, and Keselowski has won three times.(AutoWeek)(3-1-2012)
UPDATE: Penske Racing is coming back to Ford. After a 10-year hiatus, Penske Racing returns its two-car NASCAR Sprint Cup operation to Ford Racing beginning with the 2013 Daytona 500, and if its latest term is anything like the most recent one, Ford fans will have plenty to cheer about. Penske Racing, recognized as one of racing's all-time great teams, most recently spent nine seasons with Ford from 1994-2002, posting 27 wins and 33 poles among three drivers. In addition, its teams finished in the Top 10 48.6 percent of the time (228-of-469 starts). The organization first raced with Ford in 1976 and 1977, before coming back in 1994. In total, through 524 NASCAR starts (509 Cup Series and 15 Nationwide Series) with Ford, Penske Racing teams earned 28 victories (27 Cup Series and one Nationwide Series) and 42 pole positions (36 Cup Series and six Nationwide Series). "This is an historic day for our racing program, and we are thrilled to see another member of the extended Ford family coming back," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas. "Working together with Penske Racing gives Ford another championship-level program, and we are excited to take our racing program to all-new levels." Added Roger Penske: "We look forward to joining the Ford Racing NASCAR program beginning in 2013. We appreciate the long-term commitment that Ford has made to Penske Racing and for their continued support of the sport."(Ford Racing)(3-1-2012)
Dodge Statement: In response to today's announcement by Penske Racing, Ralph Gilles, President and CEO - SRT Brand and Motorsports, offered the following statement: "Dodge has enjoyed a successful partnership with Penske Racing for 10 years. It's a partnership that has produced results for both parties on and off the track. Roger (Penske) has made a business decision to accept an offer with another manufacturer. We wish Roger and Penske Racing much success in the future. "We are committed to work with Penske Racing to compete at the highest level, win races and contend for championships this season. Our motorsports involvement isn't limited to NASCAR. We do value our NASCAR program and will be evaluating the opportunities available moving forward. As those opportunities materialize, we'll reveal our 2013 plans, not only in NASCAR but in other forms of motorsports."(Dodge PR)(3-1-2012)
Penske Racing teams up with ADP: ADP, a leading provider of human resource outsourcing, payroll services, benefits administration and integrated computing solutions for vehicle dealers, announced it has teamed up with Penske Racing to become an official sponsor of that winning organization. One of the world's largest providers of business outsourcing solutions, ADP will become the official payroll service of Penske Racing under the terms of the new agreement. With over half a million clients across the globe, ADP plans to take full advantage of its new partnership with Penske Racing to entertain its customers at both NASCAR Cup Series and Nationwide Series, as well as IZOD IndyCar Series, events beginning next season.(Penske Racing)(12-2-2011)
Penske Racing signs new associate sponsor for 2012: Penske Racing announced it has partnered with Shoes For Crews, an industry leader in slip-resistant footwear. Under the terms of the new agreement, Shoes for Crews will become the official safety shoe provider for Penske Racing teams competing in the NASCAR Cup and Nationwide Series as well as the IZOD IndyCar Series. As an associate sponsor with Penske Racing, Shoes For Crews also looks forward to providing world-class experiences for their customers at NASCAR and INDYCAR events beginning in 2012.(Penske Racing)(11-18-2011)
Penske eyes Hornish return to Cup: Sam Hornish Jr. could be back in a Sprint Cup car by 2013, team owner Roger Penske said Sunday. "That would be the goal,'' Penske said of the three-time IndyCar Series champion, who won his first NASCAR event on Saturday when he took the checkered flag in the Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. "That kid is a heck of a driver." Penske admitted he made a mistake by rushing Hornish from the IndyCar into the Cup series fulltime in 2008 with little experience in NASCAR's lower series. Hornish drove only 11 Nationwide races before his first Cup season and drove only nine during his three seasons of Cup. During that stretch, Hornish had only two top 5s and eight top 10s in Cup. He lost his ride after the 2010 season, but Hornish and Penske remained committed to NASCAR by competing in a limited Nationwide program this season. Penske said on Saturday and reiterated on Sunday that he hopes to have Hornish compete for a title in the Nationwide Series in 2012 with his ultimate goal to get him back in Cup the following year.(ESPN)(11-14-2011)
SKF sponsoring Penske teams in 2012: SKF USA Inc. announced it will be a major associate sponsor of the Penske Racing teams beginning with the 2012 racing season. The SKF brand will be featured in the Sprint Cup Series as well as the Nationwide Series and the IZOD IndyCar Series next season. Entering its 15th year as a major associate sponsor of auto racing in North America, the SKF brand will be featured in 2012 on the #2 Miller Lite Dodge driven by Brad Keselowski and the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driven by Kurt Busch in the Sprint Cup Series; the #12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge driven by Sam Hornish Jr. in the Nationwide Series and the #3 Team Penske IndyCar driven by three-time Indianapolis 500 Champion Helio Castroneves.(Penske Racing)(10-26-2011)
Hendrick & Penske...in Indycar?: Spotted on the grid of the Centennial Indy 500 were Hendrick Motorsport decals on the wings of two Team Penske Racers. The decals were on the inside rear wingplate on Will Power's #6 Dallara Honda and #12 Ryan Honda. This leads to speculation of an alliance of Penske and Hendrick in IndyCar especially due to the entry of Chevrolet engines into the open wheel series in 2012. Penske officials are keen to add Simona de Silvestro to their team but are having financial issues with three cars and would not comment on the why HMS decals were on the two cars. An alliance with Hendrick, a big Chevrolet dealer, could help.(see image at Auto123)(5-30-2011)
Technical director leaving Penske Racing: The technical director of Penske Racing's NASCAR program is leaving the team at the end of the month. The team says Tom German has been accepted into the Sloan School of Management at MIT, and will begin classes in June. German was the focus of driver Kurt Busch's anger during his mid-race rant at Richmond two weeks ago. Busch alluded to behind the scenes changes at Penske last week, but declined to be more specific. Penske officials say German expressed interest in the program last fall, and the team supported him during the application process. The team says only 15 percent of applicants are accepted into the program.(Associated Press)(5-10-2011)
Volkswagen to NASCAR? Penske? denied: The latest entry into America's most popular motorsports series could very well be the first ever from Germany. According to Matthias Muller, the newly appointed CEO of Porsche, Volkswagen Group -- his employer's parent company -- is considering entering NASCAR. Should it follow through, Volkswagen would be just the second foreign automaker to participate [full-time] in NASCAR. Toyota was first, entering the competition in 2007 [actually Jaguar and others have run a few races, with Jaguar winning a race. Volkswagen actually ran one race in 1953]. The German automaker will reportedly begin discussions with NASCAR officials once the current season ends in late November. One of the owners that Volkswagen is considering team up with is Roger Penske.(Motortrend)
BUT Penske Racing will not be switching from Dodges to Volkswagens in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next year, nor will the German automaker be fielding cars in America's premier stock-car series in 2011. Beyond that, though, VW could make a play to race stock cars. The operant word there being "could," as the automaker has not petitioned NASCAR to go racing next year. Sources at Penske Racing told SPEED.com that it is the team's "full intent" to continue fielding Dodges next year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series. Furthermore, sources at NASCAR said that while Volkswagen officials intermittently have expressed a casual "interest in NASCAR," the German automaker has not taken any of the steps necessary to be granted approval to race in NASCAR. In order to be approved to compete, VW or any other automaker would have to formally submit its race car and engine package to NASCAR. That has not happened, NASCAR officials told SPEED.com Thursday. And even if VW wanted to race in NASCAR, the earliest a car could be approved would be for the 2012 season.(SPEED)(10-1-2010)
Born in MARCH
11 Kathy Cindric, Albert Garwood, Derek Daly, Troy Ruttman
12 Lynne Garrow, Casey Mears, John Andretti, Red Byron, Terri Brooks, Lorrie Earp
13 Jeff Spraker
14 Artie Kempner, Aric Almirola, Albert Einstein, Kristen Yeley, Tina Gordon, Harold E. Holly Jr., David Poole, Lee Petty, Bill Rexford
15 Andy Graves
16 Jay Guarneri, Kevin Cywinski, Troy Andrews, Katrina Spencer, Wes Adams
17 Tom 'Tiger' Pistone, Gloria Lewis, Dee Eolin, Doug Rice
18 Mark Donohue, Ryan Truex, Alex Garcia, Jack Smith, Derrick Gilchrist
19 Brian Burns, Wyatt Dallenbach, Chris Graves, Tom Umscheid
20 Jeff Thousand, Mike Messick Jr.
21 Larry McClure, Fonty Flock, Jeff Krogh, Bob Hayden, Joe Menzer, Mike Moore
22 Marianne Fairlie, Billy Hagan, Pam Miller, Todd Trickle, Ronald Hayden, Eric Bilyeu, Mike Bodick, Jerry Wittig, Randy Heffner, Darrel Haskins, Tim Harrison
23 Andrew Fairlie, Erin Crocker, Mike McCarthy, Wes Adams, chaplain Tim Griffin, Johnny Beauchamp
24 Jimmy Makar, Brenda Young, Jim Makar, Austin Petty, Scott Pruett
25 Peg Adamczyk, Danica Patrick, Dave Moody, Donnie Disharoon, Justin Marks, John Ray, Doyle Ford, Bobby Calkins, Aaron Eaton, Tortuga Twins
26 Nathaniel O'Hare, Nina Feeney, Austin Green, Doug Williams, Natalee Jarrett, Dan Ford, Blaise Alexander
27 Cale Yarborough, Andy Hall, Maurice Petty, Keith Wilson, Jeff Fuller, Bob Kelly, Rodney Combs, Gary DeHart
28 Shelby Pressley, Chris Meyers, Peter Jellen
29 Kim Wood Hall, Jamie DiPietro, Carole Houchins, Olivia Andretti
30 Pam Bickford
31 Angus Young, Richard Jackson, Scott Houston, Dana White, Rocky Ryan
Born in APRIL
1 David Gilliland, Ruben Garcia, Kim Irvan
2 Sam Johns, Dan Pardus, Ricky Hendrick
3 The Garrow's, Speedy Thompson, Shorty Rollins, Jeff Wernham
4 Bill France Jr., Justin Diercks, Robert Richardson, Scott Brzozowski
5 Mike Bliss, Buffy Waltrip, Brandy Wallace, Eric Kerley
6 Ken Bouchard, Jeffrey Overcash, Chris Carrier, Ramo Stott, Herb Thomas, George Elliott
7 MRO's Billy Mauldin, Loy Allen Jr., Chandler Parrott, Brittany Elliott, Russell Crowe, Bill Carpenter
8 Matt Yocum, Bill Fleischman, Monte Dutton, Butch Mock, Junie Donlavey, Eddie Wood, Robert Pressley, Mark Green, Kathy Ehret, Connie Champion
9 Suzanne Belber, Ed Schafer, Jacques Villeneuve, Jamie Little, Chuck White, Hunter Nicole Dodson, Richard Brown
10 John Dowd, Steve Bisciotti, Kasey Kahne, Robby Pearson, Neil Castles Jr., D.K. Ulrich, Tom Dignan Sr
11 Karsyn Jarrett, Bass Master, Al Keller
12 Mike Calinoff, Tim McCreadie, Lori Lucus, Richard Hutcherson Jr., Bob Strait, Duane Cross, Curtis Turner
13 Dr. Joe Mattioli, Dalton Buice, Dan Gurney, Mike Ford, Jessica Punch
14 Tony Raines, Steve Byrnes
15 Bobby Hutchens, Marty Smith, Kevin Conway, Jason Rudd, Brian Holshouser
Bristol Motor Speedway
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, March 15, 2014, 12:00pm/et