No. 951
June 20, 2018
 

About The Autoextremist

@PeterMDeLorenzo

Author, commentator, influencer. The Consigliere. Minister of the High-Octane Truth. Editor-in-Chief of .

Peter DeLorenzo has been in and around the sport of racing since the age of ten. After a 22-year career in automotive marketing and advertising, where he worked on national campaigns as well as creating many motorsports campaigns for various clients, DeLorenzo established Autoextremist.com on June 1, 1999. Over the years DeLorenzo's commentaries on racing and the business of motorsports have resonated throughout the industry. Because of the burgeoning influence of those commentaries, DeLorenzo has directly consulted automotive clients on the fundamental direction and content of their motorsports programs. DeLorenzo is considered to be one of the most influential voices commenting on the sport today.

Follow Autoextremist

 

Fumes


Monday
May282018

EXCELLENCE EXTENDED.

By Peter M. DeLorenzo

Detroit. A couple of weeks ago in this space I wrote a column entitled "Excellence Is Expected" about Roger Penske. (The headline I used was an homage to Karl Ludvigsen and his seminal work about Porsche: Excellence Was Expected.) As I said in that column: That Roger Penske is a Titan of Motorsport has been well-established. And the incomparable record of his racing teams amassed over the years is a level of achievement we are unlikely to ever see again in this sport. But I would like to remind everyone that Roger was a champion racer in his own right, and his exploits as a driver are worth remembering too. Look it up. What is Roger's secret to success? It's not one thing it's everything. Roger is the most driven person you'd ever meet. I know, you've probably heard that before, but you have no idea how relentless he really is. He is always three steps ahead of everyone else in thought and action, and he misses nothing. And at 81, his energy level is almost incomprehensible and truly something to behold. Roger's success on the race track mirrors his success in business, because he approaches both in the same way. It's all about a focused level of consistency and a disciplined way of doing things. And excellence isn't just a goal to strive for in Roger's world, rather it is expected. And Roger will always tell you that it's about people. Roger not only attracts the best people, he inspires people to be their best, and their unwillingness to let Roger down spurs them on to greatness.

That inspiration spurred Will Power on to greatness on Sunday, as he was victorious for Roger Penske in
 the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Power (No. 12 Team Penske Verizon Chevrolet Turbo V6) won "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" by 3.1589 seconds, and he is now part of Indianapolis 500 history and will forever have "Indianapolis 500 Winner" in front of his name. The race was run in very hot conditions, and the greasy track and knife-edge handling of the new Indy cars caught out a lot of drivers, causing spins and wrecks throughout the race. But Power would not be denied, and his preparation throughout the month paid off. Power becomes the first Australian winner of the race and the first driver to sweep both Verizon IndyCar Series races at IMS in the same year. (He also won the INDYCAR Grand Prix on the IMS road course on May 12.) "On the white flag lap, I started screaming because I just knew I was going to win it," Power said of the final 2.5-mile trip around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval. "Unbelievable! Never been so excited." "This month was one of the best months I've had," said Power, the 2014 INDYCAR series champion. "Very relaxed, in tune with my engineer, just working really well. It just came together." Power led 59 of the 200 laps Sunday.

Power's win marked 
the seventeenth Indy 500 win for Team Penske and 201st Indy car triumph for the legendary team, both records that will stand the test of time. "He won this race today because he was the best," Roger Penske said. "This closes the book for what he wanted to accomplish in INDYCAR: win a championship (2014), now is tied for winning the most races as an Indy driver for the team (31) and the Indy 500 is something that he wanted to do from the very beginning. ... He's in a different world right now, which is important." 

Seventeen wins in the greatest single motor race in the world? It's simply difficult to comprehend. It's an extraordinary run that we will likely never witness again. Congratulations to Will Power, Roger Penske, Tim Cindric and the entire Team Penske organization. And congratulations to the team at Chevrolet and Ilmor Engineering for developing the engines that powered Will Power and Team Penske to the win.

And that's the High-Octane truth for this week.

(See more coverage from Indy in "The Line" -WG)

(Photo by Shawn Gritzmacher/INDYCAR)
Will Power, winner of the 2018 Indianapolis 500, photographed at The Speedway during the "morning after" shoot.

(Photo by Dana Garrett/INDYCAR)
Winning never gets old for Roger Penske.

(Photo by Stephen King/INDYCAR)
Will Power's Team Penske crew wheels out the winning No. 12 Team Penske Verizon Chevrolet Turbo V6 for the traditional Monday morning photo shoot. 

(Photo by Shawn Gritzmacher/INDYCAR)
Will and Liz Power celebrating on Monday morning.

(Photo by James Black/INDYCAR)
The traditional Monday morning "winner's shoot" is always a mob scene at The Speedway.

(Photo by Stephen King/INDYCAR)
The 2018 Indianapolis 500-winning No. 12 Team Penske Verizon Chevrolet Turbo V6/Dallara.

(Photo by James Black/INDYCAR)
Will Power's first Indianapolis 500 win was also the 34th victory of his 14-year Indy car career, tying the 37-year-old with Al Unser Jr. for eighth place on the all-time list. It also marked the seventeenth Indy 500 win for Team Penske and 201st Indy car triumph for the legendary team. 

 

(Ford Racing Archives/Indianapolis Motor Speedway)
Jim Clark, Colin Chapman and the Team Lotus crew the morning after Clark won the Indianapolis 500 in 1965 in his Lotus-Ford.