Legendary businessman and motorsports team owner Roger Penske will be the recipient of this year’s Spirit of Competition Award from the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum. The award gala will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 31 at the Museum in Philadelphia.
The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum differs from most other automotive collections in that the cars are used to tell a story: that competition and racing improve the breed. The central theme of the Simeone Foundation collection is “the spirit of competition.” The International Historic Motoring Awards in London twice recognized the museum as “Museum of the Year.”
“No one epitomizes the ‘Spirit of Competition’ more than Roger Penske,” said Fred Simeone, executive director of the museum. “He not only was an outstanding driver in his own right, but Team Penske is also one of the most successful racing teams in the history of motorsports.”
Penske’s love of racing began racing in 1951 when he attended his first Indianapolis 500 with his father. Eventually, Penske became a winning sports car driver and was named “Sports Car Driver of the Year” by Sports Illustrated in 1961. He retired from racing in 1965 to open his first automotive dealership, in Philadelphia. Roger Penske Racing – which would eventually become Team Penske – was formed in 1966 and debuted at the 24 Hours of Daytona, with headquarters initially in the Philadelphia suburb of Newtown Square.
Since then, Team Penske has become one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Cars owned and prepared by Team Penske have produced more than 500 major race wins, more than 570 pole positions and 32 Championships across open-wheel, stock car and sports car racing competition. Over the course of its 52-year history, the team also has also earned 17 Indianapolis 500 victories, two Daytona 500 Championships, a Formula 1 win and overall victories in the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Team Penske currently competes in the Verizon IndyCar Series, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The team also races in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, in a partnership with Dick Johnson Racing, as DJR Team Penske.
Past recipients of the award are:
- 2008-Mario Andretti
- 2009-Janet Guthrie
- 2010-John Fitch
- 2011-Craig Breedlove
- 2012-Sam Posey
- 2013 Hurley Haywood
- 2014 Bobby Rahal
- 2015 David Hobbs
- 2016 Peter Brock
- 2017 Derek Bell, MBE
Tickets for the award gala are $150 for individuals, $275 for a couple, and $1,000 for a table of eight. Tickets may be purchased on the Museum’s website: SimeoneMuseum.org.