Home' V8X Supercar Magazine : Dec 2014 Jan 2015 Issue 84 Contents 38
today; they looked at sending a Ford FG Falcon over
to Penske’s Charlotte base and getting engineers and
the like to understand the unique beast that is a V8
Supercar. Others had done this before but Penske
backed away from the plan as teams started to worry
what it meant to their own competitiveness.
While this venture is about winning and merging
one of the famous names in Australian motorsport
with one of the best from North America, it is also
about business. Expect changes at DJR, but not a
win-at-all-costs mentality that many fear. That said,
Penske doesn’t play to lose.
“You’ve got to get one thing straight here... The
Penske organisation is involved in motorsport for one
thing and one thing only, and that’s to leverage their
business interests,” says Johnson.
“He’s not there with an open chequebook, it will be
the Penske organisation leveraging business interests
here in Australia, which is Western Star, MAN Trucks,
Dennis Trucks and also now MTU and Detroit Diesel.
And I think he’ll buy more, too... if you’re here, you’re
here, and he’s a very dynamic person.”
The rebuild of DJR has begun. Once the team to
beat, the masters of touring-car racing in the 1980s
and 1990s, since the 2000s there have been leaner
times. Yes, there was a title in 2010 built off the back
of some great people... but then they were plundered
by rivals with bigger chequebooks and perhaps more
stability and they dropped off the pace. Rapidly.
When it was clear they had a chance at the title with
James Courtney in 2010, some of 2011’s budget was
brought into play and then people like Adrian Burgess
left. It was devastating.
“You get knocked left, right and centre but you’ve
just go to keep picking yourself up and having a go,”
“I’m a fairly tough person in a lot of different ways,
but there were times when it gets fairly close to saying,
‘I’ve had enough’. But with Roger and the Penske
organisation coming in, the team is going to be back
where it deserves to be – which is at the front.”
For Johnson himself, it is charge on as normal with
a few extra visits to McDonalds where some important
talks took place with his new American partner, given
Penske is a fan of the American ‘family restaurant’,
even if Johnson had only been there once before.
djr team penske
▲ roger penske
The Captain! An American institution; former
race-car driver, the owner of Team Penske,
the Penske Corporation and other business
interests that have expanded significantly
into the Australian trucking sector, which led
to the V8 Supercars interest. Penske will have
a 51 per cent ownership of the DJR Team
Penske operation, taking over both Racing
Entitlement Contracts (RECs) from Dick John-
son Racing in the process.
▲ tim CindriC
Penske’s right-hand man, the president of
Team Penske; a key player in the exploration
of a potential V8 Supercars program to lever-
age Penske’s Australian business interests
in the series and the successful negotiations.
Also strategist for Australian Will Power in the
The former driver and owner of Dick Johnson
Racing, who survived several potentially
disastrous business deals to race on into
a 35th season with his new partners in
Team Penske. Johnson will be involved on a
day-to-day basis with a 49 per cent stake in
the team, handing over his team’s two entries
with Penske taking on the financial responsi-
bility of the team going forward.
Two-times V8 Supercars champion who has
been competing against Team Penske’s
NASCAR programs during his stint racing in
North America. Returns to V8 Supercars as the
lead driver of DJR Team Penske in the famed
#17 entry; a high-profile recruit that high-
lighted the formation of the new-look team.
The Penske staffer will move to Australia
to take on the role of team manager at
DJR Team Penske. Swartwout led Penske’s
Porsche RS Spyder program in the American
Le Mans Series and its NASCAR Nationwide
program. His role within the team will be to
manage the personnel, infrastructure and
▼ john Crennan
A key figurehead in the creation and success
of Holden Special Vehicles and Holden Racing
Team, who would later lead Kelly Racing as
CEO and helped put together the deal that
saw Nissan come onboard with factory back-
ing. Crennan will leverage Penske’s business
interests with the V8 Supercars team.
THE KEY MEN BEHIND DJR TEAM PENSKE
Above: team penske’s
brad keselowski and joey
logano were the form
drivers in the nasCar
sprint Cup in 2014.
V8X84 p36-42 Penske.indd 38
14/11/14 3:54:52 PM
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