INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — “That’s what’s fun on this team. No team orders. That’s what makes a big difference,” said Simon Pagenaud.
Sixteen Indianapolis 500 wins. 51 years of experience. Winners of every pole this Indycar season. Not a bad resume that the Captain Roger Penske brings to the table.
“No question we’ve been fortunate to attract the best drivers in the garage area year after year,” said Roger Penske. “I think the continuity of our people, very low turnover, drivers typically stay with us throughout their career, which is important.”
A business model that has raced Penske to the top of motorsports. The owner has arguably five of the most talented drivers in the Indycar series running in the 500. But how do you maintain a team atmosphere in an individual sport?
“You know, we might look different from the outside, but on the inside, when one’s in trouble, the others work to get him back on track. And to me, that’s been the key,” said Penske.
You see a sense of camaraderie between the drivers and Penske, but what you may not see is how much of a role the crew plays in the success of the product. From collecting data to pit stops, the crew members have just as important of a role as the drivers they work for.
“If you look at it time and time again, the people who win this race are prepared, they have good cars and they execute on race day. You know, six-six is not got enough on race day when it comes to pit stops,” said Penske. “You’re going to have to have all of your stops perfect.”
All five Penske drivers have a fair shot of winning this year’s 500. And if it comes down to teammates battling for the checkered flag…
“Roger likes us to push each other. Not off the track, but push each other to be faster. It’s a simple rule — don’t take your teammate out,” said Will Power.
“To me, smart drivers know how to take care of themselves, and we’ll see what happens,” said Penske.
Penske perfect — the business model that continues to pay off.