The strange debut of Penske owner of IndyCar: ‘But the future will be great’ – La Gazzetta dello Sport


The owner of the historic team of the same name since this year has also owned the entire category, yet tonight at the debut he will have to stay away from the paddock for the first time in 25 years. “But I’ve never been so motivated”

The IndyCar starts tonight, the 2020 season opens from Fort Worth, Texas (from 2.45 live also in Italy on DAZN). Obviously with completely atypical methods and protocols, summarized in 35 pages, which teams and drivers will have to follow scrupulously. So for Roger Penske it will be the first time out of his beloved garage. At 83, it is not recommended to have too many contacts, and therefore he will isolate himself in a suite of the Texas Motor Speedway. Which is all the stranger if you think that Penske has not only been the patron of his now historic team this year, but also the owner of the entire championship. Which had already led him to abandon any operational assignment in his garage.

But in general the renunciation will be much more radical: Roger Penske will be forced not to go into the paddock, as he did not happen from the 500 Miglia in 1995, when none of his cars managed to qualify.

The 500 Miglia in August …

“I don’t know if I’ll be able to stand it,” he confessed. That already has to deal with all the problems that hit the championship due to the pandemic. Championship that on March 13 was blocked 48 hours before the start and had the program turned upside down, with the Indianapolis 500 for the first time in 73 years moved from the Memorial Day weekend. On the other hand, an unprecedented one is scheduled for July 4th doubleheader with NASCAR (but without audience). “We really wanted to try to do it with the public, but if we had problems, the possibility of moving on with the 500 Miglia (which is scheduled for August 23) would have been precluded.

Business as usual

Penske has survived cancer in recent years, and in 2017 he underwent a kidney transplant. “In all these weeks I have been at home with my wife and I have been attentive to any contact – he said – all my movements have been between my home in Michigan and Indianapolis. I haven’t gone anywhere else. ” Adding that most of his meetings continue to take place on Zoom and are scheduled. “We start early in the morning to have easier contacts with those in the UK, then we do our business in the United States and then talk to Australia at night. It was a good tool, “he said.

Enthusiasm never felt

And in general, despite the complicated debut as a patron, he says he is satisfied. “I have never been more enthusiastic about what I have accomplished. The future is very, very bright. I’ve never been more motivated, never been more excited. ” Penske therefore said he was very proud to have managed to bring the championship back on track. Moreover, with free practice and qualifying, unlike Nascar who in the first race (and then also in others) eliminated both steps to go immediately on the oval, with the grid drawn by lot. For the satisfaction of the teams that, according to Penske, have not suffered too many financial shocks in this planetary crisis. “They are all ready to run,” he assured. Including of course his own, which hosts the reigning champion Josef Newgarden, as well as the winners of recent championships and the last two editions of the Indianapolis 500, the Australian Will Power and the Frenchman Simon Pagenaud. “We are very proud to have been able to bring all the drivers from abroad back on time to the United States,” concluded Penske.

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