From its modest beginnings behind a Philadelphia-area watchmakers shop some 40 years ago, the Penske Racing Team, more than any other organization, has influenced the development, growth and direction of auto racing in the United States as both a sport and a business. Led by former race driver turned "Fortune 500" business mogul Roger Penske, this team has won more than 250 major auto races around the world, captured 19 national championships (including 12 Indy-Car titles), and have enjoyed success in all forms of racing--Indy-Cars, sports cars, Formula-1, endurance racing and NASCAR. Penske Racing Team...40 Years of Excellence documents the fascinating history of this unique organization, focusing on the talented drivers and innovative engineering that have been responsible for the teams spectacular and enduring success. This book also highlights the key events that have defined American motorsports during this timeframe; including the rise and fall of U.S. sports car racing in the 1960s and 1970s; the politics of the USAC-CART split in the late 1970s; the CART-IRL battle that unfolded 20 years later; and the phenomenal transformation of NASCAR from its moonshine roots into the mainstream commercial phenomenon that it is today.
Alan Hummel grew up within a few miles of Penske Racing’s original shop in the Philadelphia suburb of Newtown Square. His father had a 42-year career with the Sun Oil Company, Roger Penske’s primary financial backer during the late 1960s and early ‘70s. He and his Dad became devoted fans just after the Penske’s team first race in 1969, and within a couple of years, were traveling up and down the east coast to six or eight events each season as Penske and Mark Donohue competed in the Trans-Am, Can-Am, Indy-cars, NASCAR, endurance racing and Formula-1.