Time for a great celebration
Keith Crain is editor-in-chief of Automotive News.
There aren't many things that Roger Penske hasn't accomplished, but winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship was a very big trophy that was missing.
A week ago, after 40 years of trying for a NASCAR championship as an owner, he accomplished that goal with a relatively new driver from Michigan, Brad Keselowski.
It's not often that a racing team can make two manufacturers happy, but Penske's may have. This is the last year Dodge will be involved in stock-car racing so it was a great ending for Dodge. Ford is picking up the baton and will sponsor Penske's NASCAR effort next year with a championship team and driver. Not bad for everyone.
Anyone who thinks racing and automobile companies don't go hand in hand should look at the great success of Roger Penske.
His team has won the Indy 500 15 times, and now he has a NASCAR championship to go with multiple Trans Am and Can-Am championships.
All of his dealerships in this country and around the world can share in that magic.
Few in the car business would dispute the adage "Race on Sunday, sell on Monday."
Many dealers and suppliers have been successful in motorsports, but no one has come close to being so successful in so many forms of auto racing.
As Penske said after winning the NASCAR cup, about the only hill left to climb might be the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Meanwhile, Penske Automotive Group continues to grow all over the United States and in Europe as Penske adds dealerships and improves his existing ones.
Motorsports is a business, too, and Penske has made his passion into a successful business that supports and strengthens his dealerships and rental firm.
I have always said that the first automobile race happened about five minutes after the first car from the second car company was built.
Racing is a part of the DNA of automobiles. There are many stories about how racing helped establish companies and brands, beginning with Henry Ford's racing victory that got him enough capital to start Ford Motor Co.
Racing improves the breed, whether it's building a dealership group into one of the largest in the world or winning another championship. Penske is successful in business and racing for the same reasons because racing is part of the Penske corporate philosophy.
I guess it's time for Le Mans.
You can reach Keith Crain at email@example.com.