A week after celebrating its Verizon IndyCar Series driver and entrant championships in Southern California, Team Penske principals marked the organization’s 400th victory in all forms of motorsports in the stock car race at Richmond, Va.
“For me it’s a special time,” team owner Roger Penske said. “I think we said that when we moved everybody under one roof (in Mooresville, N.C.), where we could cross-pollenate. We moved people from NASCAR to INDYCAR and vice versa, even over-the-wall guys. That’s been an opportunity.”
Penske entered Indy car competition in 1968, which was preceded by the Trans-Am Series (1967) and the SCCA Can-Am Series and United States Road Racing Championship (1966). It entered NASCAR competition in 1972. The team also competed in Formula One from 1974-76 and the American Le Mans Series from 2005-09.
Team Penske, which earned five Verizon IndyCar Series victories this season (three by series champion Will Power, one each by Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya) has the most IndyCar Series wins (55) since the 2004 season. Chip Ganassi Racing has 52. Team Penske is the only team with a victory in each of those seasons.
Ryan Briscoe earned Team Penske's 300th win in June 2008 at the Milwaukee Mile. Power wrapped up the 13th Indy car championship for Team Penske at Auto Club Speedway on Aug. 30.
Diving with sharks is part of Hinchcliffe's vacation
Andretti Autosport driver James Hinchcliffe isn’t just doing some scuba diving while on vacation; he’s diving with sharks in Bimini.
“Hopefully I come back with all my limbs,” said Hinchcliffe, who is part of the excursion with personal sponsor ScubaPro.
The trip is two-fold, according to Hinchcliffe.
“We’re bringing one of the prominent “Shark Week” videographers (Andy Casagrande) with us. We’ll film video for a segment that hopefully NBCSN will use during the prelim of the (2015) season and something on air for “Shark Week” next year,” Hinchcliffe said.
Champions scheduled to participate in Chris Griffis Memorial Test
Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires champion Spencer Pigot and Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda champion Florian Latorre are among the drivers scheduled to participate in the Chris Griffis Memorial Test on Sept. 13-14 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The test features all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder system, offering teams in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires the opportunity to audition drivers and gain a head start on their 2015 seasons.
“The goal is to be if not just up in the top two or three, but really to be the fastest,” said Pigot, who drive a Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-prepared Indy Lights car on the road course. “It’s a very professional group and for me I just want to soak up and learn as much as I can from them. They have so much experience, especially with this car. It’s a good place to learn a lot and I’m really looking forward to it.”
The event is named in honor of Chris Griffis, a longtime member of the open-wheel community who was an accomplished mechanic turned team manager and led the Sam Schmidt Motorsports Indy Lights organization before passing away in September 2011.
Steve Barry, transportation manager for the No. 27 United Fiber & Data car, was voted Truck Driver of the Year by fellow Verizon IndyCar Series transporter drivers. ... Verizon IndyCar Series driver Charlie Kimball returned Sept. 8 to the States from Kuala Lumpur, where he attended the Global Diabetes Summit as a representative of Novo Nordisk. ... Power thanks the fans: