SALINAS, Calif – The three Team Penske drivers talked of this earlier this weekend about how they can see why some people are against them. There are fans out there that grow tired of Penske winning all the time.
Heading into this season, Penske had 15 NTT IndyCar Series championships and 17 Indy 500 triumphs. They had also won 203 overall races and 264 poles.
It’s like that in every sport. Fans get tired of seeing the New York Yankees, New England Patriots, Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Tom Brady etc dominate.
Well, Penske and their talented fleet of drivers shined even brighter during the 2019 season than before. Josef Newgarden gave them their 16th Indy Car title on Sunday afternoon. Simon Pagenaud also won the Indianapolis 500 in May from the pole. He led a race high 116 of 200 laps that day. In fact, he also won the INDYCAR Grand Prix as well for a Month of May sweep. Will Power accomplished that exact same feat in 2018.
Combined, Newgarden, Pagenaud and Power reached victory lane nine times this season. They finished 1-2-5 in the final standings. They finished 1-4-5 in the Indy 500.
INDYCAR Grand Prix win.
Indy 500 pole.
Indy 500 win.
That’s a perfect season for Penske. Overall, they led 997 laps this year. The next best was Chip Ganassi Racing with 285. Andretti Autosport was third with 280. Wide gap on their competition.
The “Big 3” combined to lead 75-percent of the laps run and win 76-percent of the races. If you go back to the start of last season, Penske has won 15 of the 34 races contested. Andretti Autosport is next best with seven. Ganassi, has won just three times. Combined, that’s 25 of 34 races won between them.
Sine 2015, Penske won 38 times with the next best being Andretti with 13.
Right now, Penske has a wide advantage over everyone else and I don’t think it’s going to go away any time soon. But, it wasn’t always the case.
When Will Power won the NTT IndyCar Series championship in 2014, it was Team Penske’s first title in eight years. Their last came back in 2006 with Sam Hornish Jr. In fact, from 2002 through 2013, Penske had just one Indy Car title.
Sunday, they earned their fourth since 2016.