The podium of Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Charlie Kimball hoist their trophies in Victory Circle following the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma -- Image by Chris Jones

The podium of Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Charlie Kimball hoist their trophies in Victory Circle following the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma — Image by Chris Jones

******

Indianapolis, Indiana (September 2, 2015) – Bolstered by the most-watched Verizon IndyCar Series race ever on NBCSN for the season-ending GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, INDYCAR telecasts on ABC and NBCSN posted an overall viewership increase of 16% in 2015 that included a 34% jump in NBCSN viewership.

The August 30th race at Sonoma Raceway, won by Scott Dixon to also secure the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship in a thrilling tiebreaker over Juan Pablo Montoya, averaged 841,000 viewers on NBCSN, according to The Nielsen Company. Viewership peaked at more than one million in the final full quarter hour. It was the most-watched cable telecast of a Verizon IndyCar Series race since NBCSN acquired the rights in 2009 and the highest cable viewership since the Richmond race on ESPN in 2008.

For the year, combining NBCSN and ABC telecasts, Verizon IndyCar Series races averaged 1.144 million viewers – an increase of 16% over 2014. That follows a 19% viewership surge in 2014 over the previous year.

Full-season ratings for all Verizon IndyCar Series telecasts improved 15% to a 0.76 average in 2015, following a 20% upsurge in 2014. NBCSN ratings improved 36% to a 0.34 average this season, on the heels of a 32% increase last year.

Over the past two years, INDYCAR has increased average TV ratings and viewership by 36% and 38%, respectively.

“More fans found a lot to like with the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2015 and the growth in television ratings and viewership reflect that,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., parent of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “Our TV audiences increased significantly as we approached the championship that went down to the very last lap. As it came down to the wire, motorsports fans were attracted by the thrilling racing and compelling rivalries.”

Viewership of NBCSN telecasts averaged 507,000 in 2015, an increase of 34%, following a 34% rise in 2014. Total viewership on both media partners in 2015 increased from the year before, even with two fewer events.

The Sonoma race broadcast showed a 123% increase in viewership from the 2014 race and marked the 3rd consecutive NBCSN telecast seen by more than 600,000 viewers, following the August 2nd race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and the August 23rd event at Pocono Raceway.

In fact, the final six NBCSN race broadcasts of the season each yielded more than 500,000 viewers – a number more than the past six seasons on NBCSN combined – and five of those telecasts saw viewership increases of 66% or higher from the year before. The final six races of the season were six of the 10 most-viewed ever on NBCSN. The Mid-Ohio and Sonoma races set a new benchmark and were NBCSN’s two highest-viewed telecasts of the series.

Other Key 2015 Growth Indicators include

• NBCSN season-long coverage reached 6.409 million unique viewers, the highest total audience ever on the network for the Verizon IndyCar Series and a 47% increase from 2014.

• NBCSN viewership among key demographics improved substantially over 2014, with an increase of 32% among adults ages 18-49 and a 32% rise among adults 25-54.

• Viewership of ABC’s broadcast of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race increased 8% over 2014. Full-season viewership of ABC broadcasts improved 1%.

• In 2015, Verizon IndyCar Series television broadcast/cable ratings and viewership increased 15% and 16% respectively.

• 2015 was the 2nd consecutive year of overall viewership growth for INDYCAR. Since the 2013 season, INDYCAR has increased average TV ratings and viewership by 36% and 38%, respectively.

• 2015 was most-watched Verizon IndyCar Series season on NBCSN and the 3rd consecutive year of growth on the network. The final six telecasts of the season were six of the 10 most-viewed ever on NBCSN. The Mid-Ohio and Sonoma races set a new benchmark and were the two most viewed in the history of INDYCAR on NBCSN.

• This year’s season finale at Sonoma was the highest-rated and most-viewed race for INDYCAR on NBCSN since the network first aired Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2009. The audience for the Go Pro Grand Prix of Sonoma averaged 841,000 viewers peaking at more than one million viewers.

Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi, and the Target Chip Ganassi Racing team are the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Champions - Image by Chris Jones

Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi, and the Target Chip Ganassi Racing team are the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Champions – Image by Chris Jones

SAN FRANCISCO (Aug. 31, 2015) – Less than 24 hours after claiming the fourth Verizon IndyCar Series championship of his career, Scott Dixon was officially minted as the 2015 series champion.

Dixon, who won the 2015 crown with a come-from-behind win at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on Aug. 30, was honored along with other drivers, teams and manufacturers during the Verizon IndyCar Series Championship Celebration at the Nob Hill Masonic Center in downtown San Francisco.

Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., parent of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, presented Dixon and team owner Chip Ganassi with a $1 million championship bonus check and replicas of the Astor Challenge Cup, the Verizon IndyCar Series’ championship trophy.

“I’m fortunate to drive in INDYCAR and with this team for 14 years,” Dixon said. “With the depth of the competition, winning a championship in INDYCAR is challenging and gratifying. It’s all the small pieces that you have to get out of the car, and this year especially with the introduction of the aero kits. As a team, I think we really do a good job. I couldn’t be prouder of the whole team’s efforts.”

In addition to the championship bonus, Dixon accepted the Jostens Champions Award, a ring valued at $10,000. He also won the Sunoco Diamond Performance Award and its $75,000 prize for winning the most races.

Blair Julian, chief mechanic for Dixon’s No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, accepted the Verizon IndyCar Series Chief Mechanic of the Year Award. Scott Harner and Barry Wanser accepted the Team Manager of the Year Award.

Gabby Chaves of Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian accepted the $50,000 Verizon IndyCar Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award, Graham Rahal claimed the $25,000 TAG Heuer “Don’t Crack Under Pressure Award” for advancing the most cumulative places during the season. Will Power won the Verizon P1 Award for scoring the most points among pole winners, Ryan Hunter-Reay claimed the “Drive to the Finish” Award and the late Justin Wilson was voted favorite driver by Verizon IndyCar Series fans.

Jim Campbell, Chevrolet’s vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports, accepted the manufacturer’s award on behalf of Chevrolet Racing.

Juan Pablo Montoya of Team Penske was honored as the second-place finisher in the championship while his teammate Power was honored for finishing third.

Verizon IndyCar Series Award Winners:

Championship Driver (Astor Challenge Cup): Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
Jostens Championship Driver Award (ring): Dixon
Championship Team (Astor Challenge Cup): Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
Championship Team Sponsor: Target
Championship Team Manager: Scott Harner and Barry Wanser, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
Chief Mechanic of the Year Award: Blair Julian, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
Sunoco Diamond Performance Award ($75,000): Dixon
Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award ($50,000): Gabby Chaves, BHA with Curb-Agajanian
TAG HeuerDont Crack Under PressureAward ($25,000): Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan
Drive to the FinishAward: Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport
Verizon P1 Award: Will Power, Team Penske
Second Place Championship Driver: Juan Pablo Montoya, Team Penske
Second Place Championship Team: Team Penske
Third Place Championship Driver: Power
Third Place Championship Team: Team Penske
Manufacturers Championship: Chevrolet
Dan & Susie WheldonMake a DifferenceAward ($1K charitable donation): Denise Titus, IndyCar Medical
Verizon IndyCar Series Fan Favorite Driver: Justin Wilson, Andretti Autosport

Scott Dixon and his wife, Emma, with the Astor Cup as the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship -- Image by Chris Owens for Indy Car

Scott Dixon and his wife, Emma, with the Astor Cup as the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship — Image by Chris Owens for Indy Car

******

Sonoma, California (August 30, 2015) – Scott Dixon’s dramatic victory in today’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma earned the Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver his fourth career Verizon IndyCar Series championship on a tiebreaker over Juan Pablo Montoya.

Dixon, 35, delivered the 100th Indy car victory for Chip Ganassi Racing Teams and the team’s 11th championship. He joins A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Sebastien Bourdais and Dario Franchitti as drivers with at least four championships. It was Dixon’s 38th Indy car win, which is one behind Al Unser for fourth all time.

Montoya, who finished sixth in the race, and Dixon tied with 556 points.

Dixon, who started ninth in the 85-lap race on the 2.385-mile, 12-turn Sonoma Raceway road course, won the tiebreaker because he had more wins during the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season. The victory today was his third (Long Beach, Texas and Sonoma) of the 16-race season. Montoya earned a total of two victories (St. Petersburg and the Indianapolis 500) in the No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet.

Montoya, who stood atop the standings since winning the season opener on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., entered the double-points Sonoma race with a 34-point cushion on second-place Graham Rahal and 47-point lead on Dixon.

Montoya won the 1999 Indy car title on a tiebreaker over Franchitti. The 2006 Verizon IndyCar Series championship also was decided on a tiebreaker, with Sam Hornish Jr. prevailing over Dan Wheldon.

Scott Dixon“There was still a chance and that’s what I was hoping for,” Dixon said. “I don’t know what to say. This season we had some big races, and this was the biggest. We were such a longshot. I knew the car was strong, but you never know until the last lap. That’s what it came down to. You hope for it. We had to do our best job and that’s what we did today and, luckily enough, it worked out. Obviously we won it on a countback (tiebreaker). It was tied for points and to get it, obviously, winning three races, you know. I can’t thank Chevy enough. I can’t thank Target. Huge weekend here in Sonoma for all the Target guests, 400-500 people. It’s a partnership. My teammates were phenomenal. They helped all year and we won this together. There is no one person that achieved this on their own and I just thank everybody so much.”

Team Owner Chip Ganassi stated: “Scott (Dixon) is obviously, I think, he’s arguably the driver of our generation — the Indy car driver of our generation, for sure. I think his stats speak for themselves. His numbers against the other all-time winners and what have you, he’s up on the list there. There’s not anybody I’d rather have driving our cars, I can tell you. I mean, he’s just a quality driver, but a quality person, a father, a husband, just the kind of guy you want in your organization. It’s that simple. All around, on the track, off the track, he’s the complete package.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay, the 2012 series champion, finished 6.1115 seconds behind Dixon. Hunter-Reay, driving the No. 28 DHL Andretti Autosport Honda, won twice and had two other top 10s in the final four races.

Two other Chip Ganassi Racing Teams entries – Charlie Kimball (third) and Tony Kanaan (fourth) – finished in the top five and the fourth Ganassi car, driven by Sebastian Saavedra, led 12 laps early and finished 13th.

“My teammates were phenomenal. They helped all year and we won this together,” Dixon said. “There is no one person that achieved this on their own and I just thank everybody so much.”

Dixon’s season started with 15th- and 11th-place finishes before he won at Long Beach in mid-April. He closed with seven top-10 finishes in the final eight races of the season.

Power, the 2014 series champion who had won three of the past five races at Sonoma Raceway and reset his year-old track record in earning the Verizon P1 Award for the pole Aug. 29, led 26 laps and finished seventh. He wound up third in the standings (63 points behind Dixon). Rahal finished a career-best fourth in the championship (-66 points) and Helio Castroneves was fifth.

indycar-boxscore-v2

WilsonChildrensFund-Aug2015

b]

Will Power exits the Turn 9A chicane complex during qualifications for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway - Image by Shawn Gritzmacher

Will Power exits the Turn 9A chicane complex during qualifications for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway – Image by Shawn Gritzmacher

******

Sonoma, California (Aug. 29, 2015) – Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Will Power reset his year-old track record in the Firestone Fast Six to earn the Verizon P1 Award and pace 4 of 6 championship contenders who will start on the first three rows for the title-deciding GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.

Driving the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevy, this is the 4th track record broken by Power this season and the 6th track record broken in 2015 following the introduction of aerokits by Chevrolet and Honda.

Three rounds of qualifications set the 25-car grid for the 85-lap race August 30th (1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET on NBCSN) that carries double base points along with bonus points for the pole (one point), leading a lap (one) and leading the most laps (two).

Sonoma Qual Results

Power claimed his 6th pole start of the season and 42nd of his career, 5th on the all-time Indy car list.

“I’m really stoked. I love qualifying and (am) very happy to end the year with a pole position,” said Power, a three-time winner at Sonoma Raceway who has started from the pole five times in the past six years for this race. “Lots of points on the table; we’ll go for that win. Basically, we were just going to do two one-lap runs on the used reds, but Newgarden went out and put a pretty good time up, so we had no choice but to use the new blacks at the end there. It was the obvious choice at the end but I had to work for it.”

Juan Pablo Montoya, in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, has stood atop the standings since winning the season opener March 29 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., and holds a 34-point lead over Graham Rahal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Montoya’s most direct path to his second Indy car title – separated by 16 years – is to finish first or second. The other contenders’ script also is clear.

Juan Pablo Montoya crests the Turn 2 hill during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway - Image by Chris Jones

Juan Pablo Montoya crests the Turn 2 hill during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway – Image by Chris Jones

“Win. That’s the best-case scenario,” said Rahal, who advanced to the Firestone Fast Six qualifying format used on all Verizon IndyCar Series road and street courses for the first time since Twin Ring Motegi in 2011. “We finish third, fourth, fifth (in the race), it becomes obviously a bit more difficult because you’re banking on Juan finishing 12th or worse. I don’t think that’s likely.”

Josef Newgarden, a two-time race winner this season, earned his 2nd front-row start in the 16 races this season. “Getting pole would’ve helped a lot more. It is worth points and it’s double points this weekend,” said Newgarden, driving the No. 67 GoPro CFH Racing Chevrolet. “We’ve got a really good car. We’re hoping to have a good race. It starts with qualifying and we did a pretty decent job there. If we keep clean, we have a shot at winning that thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay, who has won two of the past three races in the No. 28 DHL Andretti Autosport Honda, qualified a season-high third. He’ll share Row 2 with Simon Pagenaud in the No. 22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet.

Here is where the remaining title contenders qualified (with championship standings position and points behind leader in parentheses):

  • First — Will Power (fourth, -61 points), 1:16.2597 best lap, Firestone Fast Six (track record);
  • Second — Josef Newgarden (sixth, -87 points), 1:16.3964 best lap, Firestone Fast Six;
  • Fifth — Juan Pablo Montoya (first), 1:16.6631 best lap, Round 2; 1:16.8437 Firestone Fast Six;
  • Sixth — Graham Rahal (second, -34 points), 1:16.6435 best lap, Round 2; 1:17.1769 Firestone Fast Six;
  • Ninth — Scott Dixon (third, -47 points), 1:16.7365 best lap, Round 1;
  • 15th — Helio Castroneves (fifth, -77 points), 1:17.2550 best lap, Round 1.

This marks the 10th consecutive season that the Verizon IndyCar Series champion will be decided in the final race.

WilsonChildrensFund-Aug2015

indy_finale_main2

Date: Sunday, August 30, 2015

Track: Sonoma Raceway, a 2.385-mile permanent road course in Sonoma, California

Race Distance: 85 laps / 202.7 miles

PushtoPass Parameters: 10 activations for 15 seconds each

Firestone Tire Allotment: Seven sets primary – three sets alternate for use through the weekend

Twitter: @RaceSonoma @IndyCar, #IndyCar, #GoProGP

Event Website: www.RaceSonoma.com

INDYCAR Website: www.IndyCar.com

2014 Race Winner: Scott Dixon

2014 Verizon P1 Award Winner: Will Power, 1 minute, 17.4126 seconds, 110.912 mph

Onelap Qualifying Record: Will Power, 1:17.2393 seconds, 111.161 mph, 8/23/2014 (R1 Qualifying)

NBCSN Television Broadcasts: Race, 4 p.m. ET Sunday, Aug. 30 (live). Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer, alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Pit reporters are Marty Snider, Kevin Lee, Katie Hargitt and Robin Miller.

Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network Broadcasts: Paul Page is chief announcer with analyst Davey Hamilton. Pit reporters are Dave Furst, Nick Yeoman and Michael Young, with Mark Jaynes and Jake Query serving as the turn announcers. Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying and races air live on network affiliates, Sirius 212, XM 209, IndyCar.com, IndyCarRadio.com and the INDYCAR 15 app.

Video Streaming: Practice sessions not televised are available live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com

INDYCAR 15 app: The Verizon INDYCAR 15 app has exclusive features for Verizon Wireless customers, including interactive 3D Live View with real-time leaderboard and car telemetry to see where drivers are positioned, a leaderboard with enhanced 2D “marching ants” and car telemetry, in-car camera video streams from cameras that move 360 degrees and driver-pit crew chatter during the race.

AtTrack Schedule (all times local):

Sunday August 30th
10-10:30am – Verizon IndyCar Series warmup
1pm – NBCSN on air
2:07pm – GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (85 laps/202.7 miles), NBCSN (live)

Sonoma Entry List B  8-26

Championship Facts:

Juan Pablo Montoya leads the Indy car championship with one race remaining for the first time in his career. He trailed Dario Franchitti with one race remaining in the 1999 CART season when he claimed his first Indy car championship.

• Montoya leads Graham Rahal by 34 points. Montoya has led the championship since winning the opening round of the championship at St. Petersburg in March.

• There are six drivers still mathematically eligible for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship: Montoya, Rahal, Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves, Will Power and Josef Newgarden. Three drivers – Montoya, Dixon and Power – have previously won Indy car titles.

• Four drivers – Sebastien Bourdais, Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan and Simon Pagenaud – were eliminated from championship contention at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 23.

• This is the 12th Indy car race at Sonoma. The winning driver at Sonoma has won the championship once in the prior 11 races (Franchitti, 2009).

Race Notes:

* There have been nine different winners in 15 Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2015: Juan Pablo Montoya (Streets of St. Petersburg and Indianapolis 500), James Hinchcliffe (NOLA Motorsports Park), Scott Dixon (Streets of Long Beach and Texas Motor Speedway), Josef Newgarden (Barber Motorsports Park and Streets of Toronto), Will Power (Grand Prix of Indianapolis), Carlos Munoz (Raceway at Belle Isle-1), Sebastien Bourdais (Raceway at Belle Isle-2 and Milwaukee), Graham Rahal (Auto Club Speedway and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (Iowa Speedway and Pocono Raceway). In 2014, there were a record-tying 11 different race winners. Dixon’s win at Long Beach on April 19 gave him sole possession of fifth on the all-time Indy car victory list with 36. He is the active leader in wins with 37 after his victory at Texas on June 6.

* The GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma will be the 10th road/street course race of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule with a different driver winning eight of the previous nine races: Montoya (Streets of St. Petersburg), Hinchcliffe (NOLA Motorsports Park), Dixon (Streets of Long Beach), Newgarden (Barber Motorsports Park and Toronto), Power (Grand Prix of Indianapolis), Munoz (Raceway at Belle Isle-1), Bourdais (Raceway at Belle Isle-2) and Rahal (Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course).

* The GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma will be the 12th Indy car race at Sonoma Raceway. Dixon is the defending race winner. Power has won four of the last five pole positions. This will be the fourth race on the 12-turn, 2.385-mile layout. The Verizon IndyCar Series competed on a 12-turn, 2.303-mile layout from 2005-2011.

* Power and Dixon are the only drivers to win at Sonoma more than once, Dixon won the race in 2007 and 2014, Power won the races in 2010, 2011and 2013. Past winners Dixon, Power, Ryan Briscoe (2012), Helio Castroneves (2008), Marco Andretti (2006) and Tony Kanaan (2005) are entered in this year’s race.

* Dan Gurney won the first Indy car race at Sonoma under USAC sanction in 1970. Mark Donohue was the pole sitter.

* There have been five different pole winners in the previous 10 Verizon IndyCar Series races at Sonoma. Briscoe (2005), Dixon (2006), Dario Franchitti (2007, 2009, 2013), Castroneves (2008) and Power (2010-12 and 2014). All but Franchitti are entered at Sonoma this weekend.

* Three drivers have won the race from the pole – Castroneves (2008), Franchitti (2009) and Power (2010-11).

* Three drivers have competed in every Verizon IndyCar Series race at Sonoma – Castroneves, Dixon and Kanaan. Dixon is the only driver to complete every lap of every race at Sonoma.

* Power has three wins and four poles in his five previous starts at Sonoma.

* Briscoe has four podium finishes in nine previous starts at Sonoma.

* Team Penske has won at Sonoma five times, including four of the last five races with Will Power (2010-11 and 2013) and Ryan Briscoe (2012). Chip Ganassi Racing has won three times at Sonoma (Dixon in 2007 and 2014 and Franchitti in 2009) and Andretti Autosport has won twice (Kanaan in 2005 and Andretti in 2006).

* With its next Verizon IndyCar Series victory, Chip Ganassi Racing will earn its 100th Indy car race win.

* Kanaan seeks to start his 249th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Teammate Dixon looks to make his 190th consecutive start this weekend.

* The 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season marked the competition debut of aerodynamic bodywork kits designed, manufactured and supplied by Chevrolet and Honda that attach to the Dallara IR-12 chassis used by all entrants. Cars are differentiated by their shape as the manufacturers have designed a separate aero kit specification for road and street course/short ovals and another for superspeedways. References to the cars incorporate the name of the corresponding kit manufacturer.

Roger Penske speaks from the Winner's Circle after being inducted into the Sonoma Raceway Hall Of Fame - Image by Richard Dowdy

Roger Penske speaks from the Winner’s Circle after being inducted into the Sonoma Raceway Hall Of Fame – Image by Richard Dowdy

******

Roger Penske is a firm believer in the strength of the team, and as owner of the most prolific organization in Indy car history, he should know. That’s why, while being inducted to the Sonoma Raceway Wall of Fame today, Penske felt compelled to have a recently departed favorite member of the Verizon IndyCar Series team share the honor.

As the plaque bearing his name and likeness was unveiled in Victory Lane, Penske asked Steve Page, Sonoma Raceway’s president and general manager, to have Justin Wilson‘s name inscribed on it, too, before the plaque is posted with those of other wall of fame members behind the track’s main grandstand.

“I wouldn’t let this day go by without having his name on that plaque with me,” Penske said of the 37-year-old driver who died August 24th from a head injury sustained the day before at Pocono Raceway, “because he’s one of the great guys. We lose a great friend and a competitor, and we need to honor him also.”

Penske was inducted by Sonoma Raceway for his lifelong contributions to motorsports, in many ways.

“I can’t think of anybody who is more deserving,” track president Page said, “either for their record here at Sonoma or for the body of work that you look at in the motor racing industry. From someone who competed and raced here – and Roger just reminded me he won the Trans Am championship here in ’69 – who built cars, who built engines, who built racetracks. Who has brought corporate America to a sport that is very dependent on sponsorship, and has really elevated this industry in ways that I don’t think any other individual can lay claim to.”

Penske owned the Chevrolet Camaro that Mark Donohue drove to the 1969 Trans Am title at Sonoma, two years before Donohue delivered the first of what is now a record 178 Indy car race wins for the team – including 16 at the Indianapolis 500. Team Penske competed in its 700th Indy car race last weekend at Pocono.

“Everything you do, you kind of look back and say, ‘Wow!'” Penske said. “There’s no question, if you add it all up, it’s been a terrific run for us. I remember when we won the Trans Am championship back in the ’60s, it was one of the biggest days of our career. It’s ironic that we’re here tomorrow to try to win the Indy car championship again.”

Roger Penske is inducted into the Sonoma Raceway Hall Of Fame - Image by Richard Dowdy

Roger Penske is inducted into the Sonoma Raceway Hall Of Fame – Image by Richard Dowdy