NASCAR team owner Roger Penske is in a unique position heading into Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
For the first time in history, Penske has the opportunity to become the car owner of the championship drivers in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the Verizon IndyCar Series, as well as the team owner of the championship NASCAR Nationwide Series car.
It not a done deal, certainly, but if it happens it would be quite a trifecta even by Penske’s lofty standards. A hugely successful industrialist with a string of automobile and automotive-related businesses, Penske, 77, is estimated by Forbes to have a net worth of $1.1 billion.
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Team Penske driver Will Power has long since clinched the IndyCar driver’s title and Joey Logano is one of four drivers who will race heads up for the Sprint Cup title in Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This year, Penske has won 11 Cup races, the most in a single season in team history.
On the Nationwide side, Penske’s No. 22 Ford Mustang holds a solid lead of 29 points over the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
Asked what winning all three titles would mean for him, Penske credited his team.
"There’s no question if you’re putting yourself in that position has to be (because of) the teammates and the people sitting up here on the stage day in and day out," said Penske. "It would be a great thing for Team Penske. I’ve been in this business a long time, but when you look at the number of wins this year I think it’s our best year looking at today."
Penske said driver Brad Keselowski encouraged him to build the team by promoting crew chiefs internally, which Penske said strengthened the organization.
"(Crew chiefs) Jeremy Bullins, Todd Gordon, Paul Wolfe, they all came up through this program, so if we did nothing else, and I think that was Brad’s equation that he brought to the team here a number of years ago," said Penske. "I said let’s bring these guys up so they know us. I guess we know the devil and you know how these guys will work with together and I think we build a much more solid team that way, rather than trying to go out and grab somebody from another team. This is a well-built team with a strong foundation and obviously a world-class driver."