INDIANAPOLIS – We’re celebrating the 1969 Indianapolis 500 victory of Mario Andretti this month. See, the win that year was a huge historical moment in the history of this prestigious event. That’s why the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be honoring Andretti on the 50th anniversary of his only ‘500 win.
But, we have another 50th anniversary accomplishment this month as well. In 1969, not only did Andretti win his first and lone Indy 500, but it was also the debut of Team Penske in Indianapolis too.
The storied organization is having their own celebration this May to honor their 50 year legacy here.
They have four drivers hoping to win the race for the Captain for the second consecutive year. They have a great shot of doing so too with Simon Pagenaud winning the pole and all four driver starting in the top 4 Rows.
It’s no secret, Penske is the gold standard in terms of performance in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Combined, they’ve made 113 starts in the storied race and have reached victory lane a record setting 17 times in it. Also, they’ve won 18 Indy 500 poles now to go along with 17 pit stop competitions too.
No one can touch them in those categories.
Penske noted that they’ve led so many laps here (2,232), that it would account for roughly 12 Indy 500’s. That’s 25-percent of the overall laps run in the last 44 years.
Also, among their qualifying attempts, they’ve had 45 starts on the front row.
A total of 25 drivers have competed in the ‘500 for Penske with an astounding 12 of them reaching victory lane. Rick Mears leads those drivers with four trips while Helio Castroneves has three. Everyone else, has just one trip.
Penske, won their first Indy 500 in 1972 with Mark Donohue. They’ve won six times since 2001. Coincidentally enough, when Al Unser Sr. won his fourth in 1987, their sixth career ‘500 win for the organization moved them into first ever in terms of the team.
Here’s another one, two of the three driver to have won four times here, won their fourth with Penske. Can Castroneves make it 3-for-4 on Sunday?
Penske has 522 major race wins and 34 championships in across racing, but Indy has made them what they are.