There’s no question about it, Roger Penske is arguably one of the best, if not the best, businessmen in all of racing. He hires the best people around him and has the best equipment at his disposal. Penske, has won in everything he’s ever entered. He has 16 Indy 500 wins, 17 Indy 500 poles, two Daytona 500 victories and 14 overall championships.
The guy is just a winner.
But, with today’s announcement that he will start up an IMSA team next season, one thing stands out to me, the manufacturer.
Normally, if you have power from from manufacturer in one series, you’d expect that to stay status quo throughout any series you race in. But, Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing are starting to set the bar against that.
Penske, races Fords in NASCAR for example. But, with Ford not entered in the Verizon IndyCar Series, the only option there are Chevrolet and Honda. With Chevy being a competitor against Ford in NASCAR, logic would state that he’d be racing with Honda’s in IndyCar right?
No, his cars run Chevy power.
When he expanded to IMSA for next year, with their being Fords and Chevy’s in that series, you would think he’d have one of them be his supplier right?
No, he will have a deal with Honda.
Yes, you read all of that right. In NASCAR, Penske is powered by Ford with competing against Chevy and Toyota. In IndyCar, Penske is powered by Chevy rivaling Honda. In IMSA, Penske is powered by Honda, competing against Chevy, Ford and others.
He’s not the only one doing it though. Ganassi has Chevy power in NASCAR but Honda in IndyCar. They have Ford in sports cars themselves.
In this day and age, you need a competitive advantage anywhere, these owners have an advantage over their manufacturers now because of their success and power. Don’t you think each manufacturer, Ford, Honda and Chevy would like Penske and Ganassi’s business across the board in every series? One wrong move by one of these auto makers could fuel that.
That in turn is why Penske and Ganassi get all the superior equipment in each series they race in.