Monday, February 20, 2017

Roger Penske Born In Shaker Heights, Ohio - February 20, 1937

February 20, 1937
Roger Penske
Born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, USA.
The owner of the racing team Team Penske, the Penske Corporation, and other automotive-related businesses. Penske's father was a corporate executive for a metal fabrication company and encouraged his son to become an entrepreneur. As a teenager he bought older cars, repaired them and sold them at a profit from his family's home in Cleveland, Ohio. In 10 years, Penske raced and sold about 32 cars.

Penske also owns the most victories as an owner in the Indianapolis 500, 15 owner victories. A winning racer in the late 1950s, Penske was named 1961's Sports Car Club of America Driver of the Year by Sports Illustrated. 

(Photo: Roger Penske, September 1964 via photopin (license))
(Roger Penske, September 1964)
After retiring from driving a few years later, he created one of the most successful teams in IndyCar Series and NASCAR racing. He is also known by his nickname of "The Captain".

Penske purchased the old Matsushita air conditioning plant in Mooresville, NC and reconditioned it to consolidate his racing empire. Now, all of Penske's racing operations are under one massive roof, with his IndyCar, NASCAR, and American Le Mans Series teams sharing over 424,000 square feet of space encompassing 105 acres. The shop includes all the necessary pieces to compete on the highest level in all of his racing endeavors, including a state-of-the-art, in-house wind tunnel. To complete the facilities, Penske imported over one million tons of Italian marble.

Penske, also an avid car collector, owns many rare American and European automobiles, including a Ferrari FXX, of which only 30 were made.

He also is one of the corporate directors at General Electric and was chairman of Super Bowl XL in Detroit, Michigan. He was previously on the board of The Home Depot and Delphi Automotive before resigning to chair the Detroit Super Bowl Committee. He has an estimated net worth of $1.1 billion.

He was inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1995 and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1998.

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