Home' Supercar Xtra : Dec 2014 Jan 2015 Issue 84 Contents 39
Aside from McDonalds, that was the key for him.
It all remains the same, only now he has some new
friends to share his toys with. Enter Tim Cindric, the
key to unlocking the deal.
Cindric grew up in Indianapolis, the son of an engine
builder who dreamed of winning the Indy 500. His
father never got to fulfil that dream but he has. And
he’s living his own dream, being an engineer with
Penske and essentially running that part of the show.
“It’s what we really said all along, Penske is a global
brand and we happen to have a racing program as
well,” says Cindric.
▲ will power
Penske’s Aussie IndyCar champion is likely
to feature in the V8 Supercars program at
the endurance events, considering his experi-
ence with Larkham Motor Sport and Ford
Performance Racing and the fact his season
wraps up in August. Whether his teammates
Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves and
Simon Pagenaud join him in a wildcard entry
remains to be seen.
Dick Johnson Racing staffer who will remain
with the team into its Penske transformation,
appointed as the managing director and
working alongside Swartwout in terms of
managing the organisation. Promoted into
the role in the new-look team after impress-
ing Penske personnel.
▼ niCk hughes
DJR Team Penske’s incoming technical
director, who hails from Australia and was
associated with DJR when working for Penske
Racing Shocks Australia. He moved on to
NASCAR, promoted to technical director and
executive vice-president at Michael Waltrip
Racing before returning to Australia to find
work in V8 Supercars.
Above: the arrival of team
penske will help dick
johnson racing climb up
the grid, in a union that
retains the ‘djr’ brand.
“Without the business interests in Australia, I don’t
think we would be here. The original intent wasn’t to
go racing here; it was to do business here.
“But as Roger went through the surveys and that
type of thing in his new business interest, it was quite
“He said, ‘Tim, all they do is continue to ask me when
we’re going to run V8s here... that’s the first topic in
every discussion I’ve had’. He asked me to look into it,
I didn’t take it too seriously at first because obviously
it’s half a world away.
“Roger’s the kind of guy that comes to you with a lot
of ideas and racing the third time by is green. The first
time by is still a pace lap, the second time by you better
be ready to go and the third time you are racing.
“When Dick came across I thought, ‘Roger’s serious
about this’. He’s asked me to talk to some others,
this was October last year and then I came out for
“A lot of people made the comment that I was there
for secret meetings, but you don’t get to racetracks to
have secret meetings. It was better just to meet in the
open and say, ‘Yeah, we’re trying to understand if it
DJR made sense to Penske and Cindric. Reading
between the lines they could see an iconic motorsport
brand with an underutilised world-class facility. They
wanted to partner someone, and this was the partner-
ship they wanted despite numerous approaches from
“We didn’t think it was a good idea to come in here
as just an American racing team on its own, although
in some ways that makes it simpler because our fate is
pretty much in our hands,” says Cindric.
“Our main business interests were in Brisbane, so we
looked at what teams are in the Brisbane area. So that
was the first check in the box.
“The next check in the box really was simplicity;
which organisation is the simplest to be a part of. I
mean, it’s not really just a matter of price; it was more
a matter of simplicity.
“Then we got to know Dick a bit and his organisation
and it started to go through my mind as far as bringing
two icons together, Dick here and Roger in the US.
“Although their personas are very different, their
backgrounds are very similar. They’re both ex-drivers,
they both understand that they’re both icons in their
respective countries relative to motorsports.
“I thought to myself, this would be a really neat to be
part of, and a great adventure in some ways.
“Then when I was at Homebush a couple of people
had said, ‘If you guys decide to do that, what about
Ambrose? Yeah, can you do that too?’
“That thought had already crossed our minds, and
we had a casual conversation with him about whether
he would be interested.”
The planets aligned. Ambrose’s stellar career in
NASCAR was at the crossroads, and it was time to
return home if he could get into a team that could take
him to the front. Richard Petty Motorsports wasn’t
going to do that, so the plan was hatched.
V8X84 p36-42 Penske.indd 39
14/11/14 3:54:57 PM
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