Ramona Home Journal & Julian Journal
By Johnny McDonald
The incomparable Roger Penske is a remarkable businessman. Maybe he should run for president.
I knew him well several years ago, talking to him at Riverside International Raceway in 1962 after he scored a controversial victory in a Canadian-American Challenge race.
The rules called for a two-seat body and his was more like a single-seat formula machine. He won that argument and has been winning somewhere ever since.
Most will identify him with his race cars, winners of 14 Indianapolis 500's. Away from the track, he is in partnership with General Electric and serves as chairman of United Auto Group Inc., a consortium of 173 U.S. car dealerships and 123 non-U.S. stores.
He tops all that off with a new venture, as an importer and U.S. sales chief for Daimler Chrysler's new two-seat Smart Car.
It's a far cry from his position along the Indy pit wall wearing headsets.