Skip to content

Penske’s IndyCar leader comments easier said than done

Mar 29, 2013, 2:30 PM EST

Honda Grand Prix Of St. Petersburg - Day 1 Getty Images

Roger Penske has been in racing, specifically open-wheel racing, long enough to know how frequently the series’ leadership structure changes.

Penske told Autosport this week that IndyCar needs to follow NASCAR’s standard set in terms of leadership.

“We’ve never had a strong enough leader as they do in NASCAR,” Penske said. “They say, ‘Hey, guys, here’s the rules, here’s how we’re going to race. Guess what? If you don’t like it you can park your car outside and sit in the stands.’ And that’s what we need. We need some leadership. And I think that we can develop that as we go forward over the next 12 months.”

Compared to NASCAR, which the France family has ruled since the series’ inception in 1948, IndyCar has had a revolving door of presidents and CEOs.

IndyCar has not named a permanent replacement for its departed CEO Randy Bernard, the head of the series from 2010 to 2012. Mark Miles, the new head of IndyCar parent company Hulman & Co., attended his first race outside the Indianapolis 500 last weekend at St. Petersburg.

The long standing perception in IndyCar has been one where the team owners, not a head of state, run the series. The perception was reality in the CART era, when team owners helped to create the series and later served on its board of directors.

When CART as an entity folded at the end of 2003, it was a group of team owners that purchased the remaining assets to create the Champ Car World Series, which lasted through 2007 before its acquisition by IndyCar.

The owners, collectively, hold more power in IndyCar than do the same owners in NASCAR or even Formula 1. Both have dominant leaders at the top, and it’s with that premise that Penske’s comments are easier said than done in IndyCar.

Latest Posts
  1. NASCAR on NBC’s Jeff Burton partakes in Twitter Q&A

    Jan 28, 2015, 9:34 PM EST

    Jeff Burton AP

    NASCAR on NBC’s Jeff Burton reaches out to fans during an impromptu Twitter Q&A.

  2. Hinchcliffe on Mazda’s year-on-year growth: “It’s night and day”

    Jan 28, 2015, 7:30 PM EST

    HinchMazda AP

    IndyCar’s James Hinchcliffe raves about the year-on-year improvements by the SpeedSource Mazda program.

  3. Cindric on Barnhart: “We need somebody we know”

    Jan 28, 2015, 6:30 PM EST

    TimCindric2 Getty Images

    Team Penske’s Tim Cindric discusses the “known quantity” of Brian Barnhart.

  4. RCR names two female drivers to development program, including daughter of Wally Dallenbach Jr.

    Jan 28, 2015, 5:54 PM EST

    Kate Dallenbach (photo courtesy Richard Childress Racing) Kate Dallenbach (photo courtesy Richard Childress Racing)

    Richard Childress Racing announced it has added two female drivers to its driver development program, including the daughter of driver-turned-broadcaster Wally Dallenbach Jr.

  5. A day in the life: Check out how CFHR’s Josef Newgarden spends a typical offseason day (VIDEO)

    Jan 28, 2015, 5:15 PM EST

    newgardenpost Getty Images

    Take a look at a day in the life of Verizon IndyCar Series driver Josef Newgarden during the offseason.

  6. Brad Keselowski: Hard to believe it’s his sixth season with Penske already

    Jan 28, 2015, 5:00 PM EST

    keselowski las vegas 2014 Getty Images

    Although he’s looking ahead to the 2015 season, Brad Keselowski did a bit of reminiscing Wednesday.

  7. NASCAR: Joey Logano talks about Penske camaraderie – and his lost wedding ring

    Jan 28, 2015, 4:30 PM EST

    GoBowling.com 400 - Practice Getty Images

    After breakout 2014, Logano looks ahead to an even better third year with Team Penske.

  8. IndyCar preseason driver meetings almost a “Where’s Waldo” in finding drivers currently rideless

    Jan 28, 2015, 4:15 PM EST

    IndyCarSillyRd1 Getty Images

    IndyCar’s preseason driver meeting just might reveal some clues about who could fill the remaining seats left for 2015.

  9. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA’s Media Tour coverage continues at 4:30 p.m. ET

    Jan 28, 2015, 4:00 PM EST

    NASCAR Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour  - Day 3 Getty Images

    Coming up: Interviews with the drivers of Roush Fenway Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, and Team Penske. Plus, a look back on a shocking upset at the 1990 Daytona 500.

  10. Johanna Long to run select Xfinity, Truck races for new team in 2015

    Jan 28, 2015, 3:29 PM EST

    johanna long Getty Images

    After being sidelined in 2014, Johanna Long will drive a number of races for a new race team in both the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series in 2015.

  11. Leavine Family Racing: There may be no ‘I’ in team, but there’s a lot of family in it

    Jan 28, 2015, 3:15 PM EST

    Michael McDowell is looking for an even better season in 2015 as he enters his second year with Leavine Family Racing. Getty Images

    While a small, one-car team that makes just over half the races of the season, there’s a lot of heart and motivation in the family oriented Leavine Family Racing team.

  12. NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson recovering from mild stroke

    Jan 28, 2015, 3:06 PM EST

    Brandon Davis, David Pearson Brandon Davis, David Pearson

    A family release issued Wednesday through NASCAR’s communications department said Pearson suffered the stroke Dec. 9 “but is doing great and well on the road to recovery.”

  13. Brian Barnhart returns as IndyCar’s new race director

    Jan 28, 2015, 3:00 PM EST

    BarnhartGetty Getty Images

    Former IndyCar race director Brian Barnhart will return to his old role for 2015.

  14. NASCAR: Wood Bros. plan expanded 18-race Cup schedule for Ryan Blaney (VIDEO)

    Jan 28, 2015, 2:45 PM EST

    Ford EcoBoost 200 Getty Images

    Six more events “tentatively” added to the Wood Brothers’ 65th anniversary season.

  15. LeBron James’ agent involved in Darrell Wallace Jr.’s hunt for sponsorship

    Jan 28, 2015, 2:31 PM EST

    LeBron James LeBron James

    Roush Fenway Racing president Steve Newmark said the team set up a meeting for Wallace with Maverick Carter, the agent who oversees much of James’ business empire.

  16. Richard Petty Motorsports seeks sponsorship for 26 races for Hornish

    Jan 28, 2015, 1:12 PM EST

    Sam Hornish Jr Sam Hornish Jr

    Richard Petty Motorsports seeks sponsorship for 26 races for Sam Hornish Jr.’s team this season.

  17. F1: Red Bull’s Horner confident that RB11 will be ready for Jerez test (VIDEO)

    Jan 28, 2015, 1:02 PM EST

    Christian Horner AP

    Horner also speaks with NBCSN’s Will Buxton about efforts from the team’s engine manufacturer, Renault, to ensure a much smoother start to 2015.

  18. F1: Force India will skip first preseason test in Jerez

    Jan 28, 2015, 12:33 PM EST

    Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg AP

    Force India opts to concentrate on getting its new 2015 car ready for the second preseason test at Barcelona.

  19. Hornish fitting in quite well with Richard Petty Motorsports

    Jan 28, 2015, 12:15 PM EST

    hornish AP

    Sam Hornish is fitting in quite nicely in his new role with Richard Petty Motorsports.

  20. After 2014 Chase berth, Aric Almirola expects “breakout year” for Richard Petty Motorsports

    Jan 28, 2015, 11:56 AM EST

    Oral-B USA 500 - Qualifying Getty Images

    Last year’s July winner at Daytona thinks RPM’s momentum will continue to grow in 2015.

Video from NASCAR America

Why 2015 is a big year for Danica
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. Gordon (2286)
  2. J. Clements (1749)
  3. K. Schrader (1737)
  4. K. Grala (1616)
  5. M. Waltrip (1541)