INDIANAPOLIS – Unfortunately, this era of motorsports rewards drivers with deeper pockets than those without. It doesn’t matter how talented you are, if you don’t have a check that can clear the bank account of most owners in any series around the world, you likely won’t be racing.
Too many talented drivers see seasons come and go while they’re on the sidelines because they don’t have the funding necessary to compete. Most teams, even those within the Verizon IndyCar Series, see drivers race for them that are bringing the money to them and may not be a deserving of the ride if not.
For Team Penske, they pride themselves that they’re not one of those teams.
“We look at having it be tough to get in the organization,” Roger Penske said in his media availability on Fast Friday from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “I say it many times in our normal business, I want it to be tough to join our organization, but I want it to be tough to leave. I think that’s why you see the same people with the same probably white shirts and black pants on, you know, year after year at these races.
“We don’t have drivers pay for a ride to get on our team. We’re going to pay our people to do the job from top to bottom. The guys driving the trucks is just as important to me and when I go to our dealership or I go to a truck location, I don’t go in a conference room and look at a bunch of numbers. I go out and talk to the people.”
Penske says his learned that business model of surrounding himself with the best at no matter what cost, and being a people’s owner, is why he’s as successful as he’s been.
“I think that’s something my dad taught me, remember the people work for you,” Penske continued. If you’re worried about what’s going to happen to yourself, you’re probably not going to make it. Think about the organization you work for, and I’ve taken that kind of mission statement throughout the company for many years.”
The mission must be working. Penske, has 250 IndyCar poles and 190 victories.
So, if you see a driver for Penske, he didn’t bring the check, he or she is collecting them.