Legendary businessman and motorsports team owner Roger Penske will be the recipient of this year’s Spirit of Competition Award from the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum. The award gala will be held on Wednesday, October 31 at the Museum in Philadelphia, from 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm.
“No one epitomizes the ‘Spirit of Competition’ more than Roger Penske,” said Fred Simeone, executive director of the museum. “He not only was an outstanding driver in his own right, but Team Penske is also one of the most successful racing teams in the history of motorsports.”
Penske’s love of racing began racing in 1951 when he attended his first Indianapolis 500 with his father. Eventually, Penske became a winning sports car driver and was named “Sports Car Driver of the Year” by Sports Illustrated in 1961. He retired from racing in 1965 to open his first automotive dealership, in Philadelphia. Roger Penske Racing – which would eventually become Team Penske – was formed in 1966 and debuted at the 24 Hours of Daytona, with headquarters initially in the Philadelphia suburb of Newtown Square.
Since then, Team Penske has become one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Cars owned and prepared by Team Penske have produced more than 500 major race wins, over 570 pole positions and 32 Championships across open-wheel, stock car and sports car racing competition. Over the course of its 52-year history, the team has also earned 17 Indianapolis 500 victories, two Daytona 500 Championships, a Formula 1 win and overall victories in the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Team Penske currently competes in the Verizon IndyCar Series, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The team also races in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, in a partnership with Dick Johnson Racing, as DJR Team Penske.
The “Spirit of Competition” is the theme of the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum and the focus of the annual fundraiser. Past recipients of the award are:
- 2008 Mario Andretti
- 2009 Janet Guthrie
- 2010 John Fitch
- 2011 Craig Breedlove
- 2012 Sam Posey
- 2013 Hurley Haywood
- 2014 Bobby Rahal
- 2015 David Hobbs
- 2016 Peter Brock
- 2017 Derek Bell, MBE
Tickets for the event are $150 for individuals, $275 for a couple, and $1000 for a table of eight. Tickets may be purchased on the Museum’s Web site: www.SimeoneMuseum.org, or by calling (215) 365-7233. The Awards dinner starts at 6:00 PMon October 31.
The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum differs from most other automotive collections in that the cars are used to tell a story: that competition and racing improve the breed. The central theme of the Simeone Foundation collection is “the spirit of competition.” The International Historic Motoring Awards in London twice recognized the museum as “Museum of the Year.”
The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum, located near the Philadelphia International Airport, is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. Recognition of the significance of some of the cars has been acknowledged in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and a variety of automotive publications. The Classic Car Trust recently selected Dr. Simeone as number two in a ranking of the top 100 automotive collectors in the World.