Team Penske celebrating 50 years in 2016

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2016 is a big year for Team Penske, as the Roger Penske owned team celebrates its 50th year of competing in auto racing.

The team started as Roger Penske Racing in 1966 and over the decades has accumulated 424 wins, 487 pole positions and 28 national championships.

Those numbers include 93 wins and one championship in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

The history of Team Penske in NASCAR, which began at the 1972 Winston Western 500 at Riverside International Raceway when Mark Donohue finished 39th, will be honored at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C.

The museum exhibit will include cars from various racing series from 1966 to the present and rarely seen artifacts and trophies from the Team Penske archives.

Its opening on Jan. 20 coincides with the Sprint Cup Media Tour.

Another exhibit focused on Team Penske will debut in February at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum 100 days before the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in May. That display will feature cars representing each Team Penske driver’s first win at IMS and other vehicles, artifacts and trophies from Penske’s 50 years of racing.

“We are very proud of all Team Penske has accomplished over the last 50 years. The celebration of our 50th Anniversary is truly a credit to the hard work, preparation and execution of our teams over the years,” said Roger Penske in a team release. “The 2016 season will be a special one in our history as we have the opportunity to reflect back on our heritage while continuing to produce and win at a high level each week on the race track.”

Penske didn’t compete in NASCAR on a regular, yearly basis until 1991 with Rusty Wallace, but its first win came in 1973 with Donohue. The team’s first and only Sprint Cup title to date would not come until 2012 with Brad Keselowski. In 2015, Joey Logano gave the organization its second Daytona 500 victory.