QUESTIONS & ATTITUDE
Compelling questions ... and maybe a few actual answers
Have we overlooked the Captain’s great 2018 season?
Over five-plus decades, Roger Penske has become so synonymous with success, it can be easy to overlook the recent trophies he’s stashed into the
bulging display case. Even at 81, he’s hardly just a figurehead owner, but very much a part of team strategies and logistics.
This past year, the Captain was clicking on all cylinders. Consider the spoils: The Indy 500 win with Will Power, Australia’s
V8 Supercar championship with Scott McLaughlin, and NASCAR’s Cup championship with Joey Logano.
What, there’s a down side?
Well, yes, in a way, though it’s not Penske’s fault. Many bemoan the lack of new blood in NASCAR’s ownership ranks,
but old warhorses like Penske are making it tough on interlopers. He’s 81, Joe Gibbs is 78, and Rick Hendrick turns 70 next year. As stated so many times
here, NASCAR needs an influx of younger ownership, but the current business model makes it tough for anyone without serious Wall Street connections.
Are you buying Jimmie’s optimism?
Let’s punt and say “renting.” Jimmie Johnson went to Bahrain early last week and enjoyed a well-publicized test stint in the Formula One McLaren of two-time F1 champ Fernando
Alonso. … with himself. Jimmie was The seven-time impressed NASCAR champ is usually quite humble, but these aren’t usual times. After a winless 2018, he’s in need of a pick-me-up, even
if he has to supply the lifting. “I climbed in an unfamiliar car and environment and did really well,” he told media later last
week in Las Vegas. “So my natural instincts, my ability to drive, my ability to scare myself and challenge myself hasn’t gone anywhere.”
The Indy 500 win with driverWill Power was among RogerPenske’s 2018 accomplishmentsas team owner.[AP/DARRONCUMMINGS]