Team Penske: The Best In All Of American Motorsports?


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It wasn’t even five years ago that Team Penske looked to be nothing more than an afterthought. Granted, on the IndyCar side of things they were dominating, but on the NASCAR side of things they weren’t accomplishing much. But with Juan Pablo Montoya’s win over teammate Will Power in yesterday’s Indy 500, an argument could be made that Team Penske may very well be the best team in American Motorsports right now.

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By winning the Indy 500 with Montoya, Team Penske became the first organization to win both the Daytona 500 and the Indy 500 in the same season since Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing won both in 2010 (with Jamie McMurray and Dario Franchitti, respectively). At that time on the Sprint Cup side of things Kurt Busch was still winning races in the blue No. 2 while his newcomer teammate Brad Keselowski struggled mightily in the No. 12. But beginning in 2011 when Busch was moved to the No. 22 and Keselowski to the No. 2, Penske saw a resurgence as a prolific team, with both drivers winning multiple races and making the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Keselowski capped that off in 2012 when won the overall championship.

Meanwhile Penske has been at the top of the IndyCar rankings for many years with drivers like Sam Hornish Jr., Helio Castroneves, and Will Power. Since joining the IndyCar Series in 1968, he has managed to win 13 titles as an owner, not only with Power and Hornish but with other greats like Rick Mears, Al Unser Sr. and Jr., and Gil de Ferran. Add to that his 16 Indy 500 wins, and it’s easy to see that the Penske organization is arguably the most lucrative in the sport.

The battle has been a little bit tougher on the NASCAR side of things. Sure, Keselowski won an Xfinity championship for Penske in 2010, but it’s the Sprint Cup that holds the most notoriety. He reached that pinnacle in 2012, but after a slow start following Penske’s switch to Fords in 2013, Keselowski and Joey Logano have made Penske the ultimate Ford Racing team in NASCAR.

They still continue to dominate the Xfinity Series where they’re one of the top three teams in the division (the other two being Joe Gibbs Racing and JR Motorsports/Hendrick Motorsports). Along with the 2010 championship, they continue to be a force to reckon with, earning wins with Logano, Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, and even A.J. Allmendinger, who won twice with the team in 2013.

But in 2014, they won 11 of 36 points races on the Sprint Cup side (Keselowski – six wins, Logano – five wins). Logano even managed to contend for the title all the way to the season finale at Homestead, although he would ultimately end the season fourth in points. He would make up for this with a win in the 2015 Daytona 500.

Other teams are starting to pick up on the idea that the Penske Fords are the best Fords in the garage. Leavine Family Racing, who owns the No. 95 of Michael McDowell, recently switched to Penske engines. Another team that actually switched from Roush-Fenway engines to Penske is the Wood Brothers team, who currently employs Ryan Blaney on a part-time basis. Brad Keselowski’s truck series teams also run Penske engines, and they’re championship contenders as well.

With their current stranglehold on American Motorsports, it’s safe to say that Team Penske is at the pinnacle, considering they’ve won the two most prestigious races in the country as well as championships in NASCAR and IndyCar.

Be sure to comment and weigh in below on whether Team Penske is currently the best team in all of American Motorsports.

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