In 2003, Penske Racing will make the move from Dodge to Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition, according to an Autoweek report, citing sources. Penske is expected to officially release a statement (if it hasn’t already done so by press time). Penske fields Dodge Chargers for Brad Keselowski and A.J. Allmendinger.
It was in 1972 that team owner Roger Penske made his debut into NASCAR. Back then, he fielded a red, white and blue AMC Matador for Mark Donohue at Riverside. During the same year, he also had drivers Dave Marcis and Donnie Allison but the results weren’t all that great. Penske shut down his team after the 1977 season but at that point, Bobby Allison, Gary Bettenhausen, George Follmer and Neil Bonnett had already driven for him.
He had 102 starts during the first six seasons (1976 was its only full season). Penske’s drivers were the winners in seven poles and five races in Matadors and Chevrolets. During the stretch, Penske had the chance to use Mercury cars but it garnered no wins. In 1980, Penske went back to NASCAR for two races where it fielded Rusty Wallace in Chevrolets. He chose to stay away until he later returned in 1991 with a full-scale Sprint Cup effort.
During the last 22 years, he has fielded from one to three teams in each race. For this year, he has two cars in his team that will be driven by Brad Keselowski and A.J. Allmendinger. From 1991 until 1994, Penske fielded Pontiacs. But from 1995 through 2002 (eight seasons), he switched to Ford units. He then transferred to Dodge, which has so far lasted for nine years until the last season.
He has field a total of 1,503 Cup entries and had won 96 poles and 71 races. For a total of 333 times, Penske’s cars have gotten in the top five. And for 573, its cars made it to the Top 10. A Cup championship has never made it on Penske Racing’s hands but for 19 times, it was in the top 10 in final points.