Penske Shares Wall of Fame Honor with Wilson

Roger Penske gets Hall of Fame honor from track President Steve Page

Roger Penske is a firm believer in the strength of the team, and as owner of the most prolific organization in Indy car history, he should know. That's why, while being inducted to the Sonoma Raceway Wall of Fame today, Penske felt compelled to have a recently departed favorite member of the Verizon IndyCar Series team share the honor.

As the plaque bearing his name and likeness was unveiled in Victory Lane, Penske asked Steve Page, Sonoma Raceway's president and general manager, to have Justin Wilson's name inscribed on it, too, before the plaque is posted with those of other wall of fame members behind the track's main grandstand.

"I wouldn't let this day go by without having his name on that plaque with me," Penske said of the 37-year-old driver who died Aug. 24 from a head injury sustained the day before at Pocono Raceway, "because he's one of the great guys. We lose a great friend and a competitor, and we need to honor him also."

Penske was inducted by Sonoma Raceway for his lifelong contributions to motorsports, in many ways.

"I can't think of anybody who is more deserving," track president Page said, "either for their record here at Sonoma or for the body of work that you look at in the motor racing industry. From someone who competed and raced here – and Roger just reminded me he won the Trans Am championship here in '69 – who built cars, who built engines, who built racetracks. Who has brought corporate America to a sport that is very dependent on sponsorship, and has really elevated this industry in ways that I don't think any other individual can lay claim to."

Penske owned the Chevrolet Camaro that Mark Donohue drove to the 1969 Trans Am title at Sonoma, two years before Donohue delivered the first of what is now a record 178 Indy car race wins for the team – including 16 at the Indianapolis 500. The team competed in its 700th Indy car race last weekend at Pocono.

"Everything you do, you kind of look back and say, 'Wow!'" Penske said. "There's no question, if you add it all up, it's been a terrific run for us. I remember when we won the Trans Am championship back in the '60s, it was one of the biggest days of our career. It's ironic that we're here tomorrow to try to win the Indy car championship again."

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