“That was his first. Really?” I was honestly shocked to learn that Brad Keselowski’s victory Monday in the Brickyard 400 was a first for “The Captain,” team owner Roger Penske in Cup racing at Indianapolis. While NASCAR racing has generally been less than scintillating at Indianapolis, a win is still a big deal at Indy.
During Penske’s storied career as an owner, he has 17 wins in the Indianapolis 500. Between USAC, Indy Car and the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series, Roger Penske has 14 championships. He is owner of 174 total race victories. He has been a part of the big time motor sports scene since 1965. His roster of drivers in just the Cup Series alone is a “who’s who”: Rusty Wallace, Kurt Busch, and more. Yet for all of that, a Brickyard 400 win has eluded him. No more.
For Roger Penske and Brad Keselowski, the win means two in a row for the 2018 MENCS campaign. Until recently, Keselowski has felt like this season has been a bit of a death march. Until recently, most of the talk has been about the “Big Three:” Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. This win serves as a reminder that perhaps engraving the trophy in the summer is an ill-conceived idea.
It was also a big day for the Blue Oval. For Ford, that makes 13 victories this season, compared to 11 for Toyota. For so many years, it seemed like Chevy owned the sport. Not now they don’t. For Team Penske, Keselowski has two wins, Joey Logano one.
Penske isn’t quite ready for the museum. The entire team made the playoffs. Keselowski now sits in fourth, Logano sixth and Blaney ninth. Get ready to rumble. There’s plenty of racing left, and no shortage of contenders. Three of them run for Roger Penske.