Sunday, November 6, 2022
An Interview with: Roger Penske
THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by our 2022 NASCAR Cup Series champion owner, and that is Roger Penske.
Roger, your first time winning the INDYCAR and the NASCAR championship in the same season. After 56 years as a team owner, how does it feel to do something new?
ROGER PENSKE: I think we’ve tried it for 31 years, so it’s about time.
What a special weekend for us. I guess what I want to do is say a prayer for Joe Gibbs and his family for the loss he had. That certainly is more important than a win or a championship.
I just want him to know we feel that as a team, I do personally, and our family.
Joey did a great job. You’ve seen what he’s been able to do as he’s come on the team, and for us to have two championships in the same year, that’s what we’re here for. That’s the goal we have every year.
I think we’ve been close, but we got it this year.
What’s next on the accomplishment box? Would Le Mans be next on your list?
ROGER PENSKE: I would say that’s the mountain we’re going to try to climb in a year, to go to Le Mans, win for sure. Thank you.
Between Joey’s first championship and now, what have you seen in that span as far as his growth and maturity to get his second championship?
ROGER PENSKE: Well, I think he came with us, what, 10 years ago. It’s hard to believe that. There was a lot of discussion was that the right move. I have to thank Brad who talked to me about Joey and really made the opportunity for me to meet with him.
He’s come on, you’ve seen his success. The number of races he’s won for us has been amazing.
He really — I said to him at the beginning of the year, with Brad leaving and he being the senior guy, to really put his arms around the whole team.
And I think we’re a lot more transparent as a group. They certainly worked together coming here this weekend. You could see all the cars were very competitive, and that’s because they all went on the same step, and they had a practice to see what was best, and we loaded that on the cars.
I think he’s been a big advocate for that. And then not just what he’s doing on the track; our relationship with Shell-Pennzoil couldn’t be better, and it’s because of the job that he’s done and what he does off the track.
And then he and Brittany, from a philanthropy standpoint, I see another part of Joey you don’t see when he puts his helmet on. But once he puts that helmet on, you want to be sure he’s on your team.
Does this NASCAR championship feel a little more special than others because it’s the first one with the Next-Gen car and all the work that’s gone on over the season to improve and try to find an edge over other teams?
ROGER PENSKE: Well, I think winning a championship no matter what car it’s in is pretty special.
Obviously to win the first race really at the Coliseum and then cap it off here was pretty amazing when you think about it, because during the season, we weren’t quite as competitive as we wanted to be, as we got to know the car. And, again, this teamwork we talk about made a big difference.
Certainly special, winning the first race with the car and winning the championship. So it was a good omen for us.
To win the Daytona 500 on your birthday and then the INDYCAR championship and now the Cup championship, shy of an Indy 500 year, is this a perfect year?
ROGER PENSKE: Well, I hate to say one is better than the other, but I’d have to say — put them all together, they’re all first place as far as I’m concerned. What it does as a team, the momentum it gives not only the race team but the 70,000 people that are in our company because they’re all watching. We don’t win every day, do we, but it teaches us how to win and how to stay in the game, and I think that’s what it’s done.
But really three super days, super accomplishments for the team. I can’t say one is better than the other. I’m just glad to be here.
Mr. Penske, over the decades you’ve won pretty much everything there is, obviously Le Mans is still a box you have to check, but how have you maintained the motivation to win everything you have throughout your entire career?
ROGER PENSKE: Well, racing, I think I’ve said it before, is the common thread through our company. The success we’ve had out on the racetrack has really built our brand. To me, it’s part of our everyday — really it’s a menu for every single day about winning.
I think racing shows it on the weekend. I said to people who are in the investment business, it’s like having your quarterly earnings every weekend, so it had better be good.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, Roger. Appreciate the time, and enjoy the off-season.
— NASCAR —