INDYCAR continues our celebration of the 12 days of Christmas with 12 of the most memorable storylines from the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season.
Earning pole position for Race 1 and winning both rounds of a doubleheader would make any IndyCar team happy. Dominating the Duel in Detroit—a race owned and promoted by your team would be even better, and hoisting a pair of trophies in the shadow of your engine partner’s global headquarters would be close to perfect.
For Team Penske, this year’s visit to Belle Isle offered nothing but amazing memories as drivers Will Power and Helio Castroneves combined to win on Saturday and Sunday, with Power claiming the first race and finish second the following day in the No. 12 Chevy. Castroneves took pole for Saturday’s race and led the most laps to win 24 hours later in the final Duel with the No. 3 Chevy.
As Penske Racing president Time Cindric shares, Detroit ranks among the greatest achievements by Roger Penske’s open-wheel operation during a championship-winning year.
“In some ways, Detroit’s the heart and soul of the organization, at least from Roger’s perspective and our company, and all the support we’ve had there,” he said. “Chevrolet has put so much time and money into that program. Really, on race day, they had to reap the rewards of that investment. We’ve been close there recently, and it was good to finally put our name there and take both trophies home.
“I felt like it was certainly one of the highlights. I would say, second just next to the championship, which is the obvious. It was one of those things that if we hadn’t won at least one of the races, at some point in time you’d look back and say, how did that happen?”
On top of the Team Penske crew and drivers, Cindric also credited Penske executive Bud Denker, event manager Charles Burns and one of the team’s sponsors for making the weekend such a success for all involved—including the fans.
“Bud’s been involved from the very beginning--it’s been his extra credit project ever since it started, and for Charles to come on board on the management side of it getting involved in the city of Detroit, that has been huge,” he added.
“Between the Chevrolet, and even the Quicken Loans--they got behind it as a local entity, and the concerts that went on and the fans who come out each year, overall it was a definite accomplishment. For Roger to carry away two trophies, it certainly is a proud moment. You can’t be biased, but yet I think it made it all worthwhile for everyone involved with the race and the team to see our two cars in victory lane both days.”