Team Penske’s late-season surge in the Cup Series didn’t just produce Brad Keselowski‘s third straight win Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
It also delivered Team Penske’s 500th overall victory in motorsports since the 1966 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The milestone comes in the team’s 52nd season of competition.
Of the 500 wins, 111 have come in NASCAR’s premier series. Sunday also saw the team place three cars in the top five for the first time in Cup.
Roger Penske was not at Las Vegas. He was at Sonoma Raceway for the IndyCar season finale.
“What an incredible finish in Las Vegas and an amazing way to earn Team Penske’s 500th victory,” Penske said in a statement. “Great job by Brad and the No. 2 Autotrader Ford team to start the playoffs with a win and a great finish by all three of our cars today. We still have some work to do this afternoon in Sonoma as we try to get win number 501 and compete for the IndyCar championship. Thanks to everyone throughout our organization for their hard work and all their dedication for helping us reach this special milestone of 500 wins.”
Here’s some facts about Penske’s 500 wins.
10 Winningest Drivers
Mark Donohue – 59
Brad Keselowski – 59
Rusty Wallace – 37
Helio Castroneves – 32
Will Power – 32
Rick Mears – 29
Joey Logano – 29
Ryan Newman – 24
Timo Bernhard – 16
Romain Dumas – 16
Scott McLaughlin – 15
Wins by Series
IndyCar – 203
NASCAR Cup – 111
NASCAR Xfinty– 67
Trans Am – 30
IMSA/ALMS – 25
V8 Supercars – 20
Can Am – 15
USRRC – 12
ARCA – 6
FIA/Endurance – 4
F5000 – 2
USAC Stocks – 2
Formula 1 – 1
FIA/Pro – 1
Wins by continent
North America: 470
South America: 4
10 winningest tracks
1. Michigan International Speedway – 24
2. Indianapolis Motor Speedway – 23
2. Pocono Raceway – 22
4. Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course – 21
5. Watkins Glen International – 17
6. Bristol Motor Speedway – 16
6. Texas Motor Speedway – 16
8. Phoenix International (ISM) – 14
9. Laguna Seca Raceway – 13
10. Dover International Speedway – 12
10. Kentucky Speedway – 12
10. Road America – 12
Tyler Ankrum will move to the Gander Outdoors Truck Series in 2019 to compete for Rookie of the Year honors with DGR-Crosley, the driver and team announced on Twitter.
In 2018, Ankrum won the K&N East Championship with DGR-Crosley through four wins, nine top fives and 12 top 10s in 14 starts. Ankrum won three consecutive races at Thompson (CT) Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Iowa Speedway during the summer. His other victory came in May at South Boston (VA) Speedway.
Ankrum made two starts in the Truck series last year – scoring a top 10 in one of those races. He finished sixth at ISM Raceway.
“Taking the next step of my racing career is mind blowing,” Ankrum said in a tweet. “And I’m lucky enough to do it again with DGR-Crosley and Toyota Racing in 2019.”
Last year’s K&N Championship came in his rookie campaign in that series.
It’s time to take stock of the 2018 Cup season.
That means voting in the best paint schemes of the year tournament.
The NBC Sports tournament has now reached its final four.
Here’s the bracket so far.
Richard Petty Motorsports will continue to receive support from the United States military. On Friday, they announced the US Air Force will continue as a primary sponsor in 2019 as well as a major associate sponsor throughout the season on Bubba Wallace’s No. 43.
The two races for which the Air Force will be the primary sponsor are Saturday, July 6 at Daytona International Speedway (4th of July weekend) and Sunday, Nov. 10 (Veteran’s Day weekend) at ISM Raceway. Last year during his rookie campaign, Wallace finished in the top 15 in both of those races. He was 14th in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona and 10th at ISM.
“The Air Force continues to see benefits from our partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports and driver, Bubba Wallace,” said Major Ross McKnight, Chief, Air Force National Events Branch at Air Force Recruiting Service in a press release. “Wallace Jr. and his personality align well with our target audience’s interests and the Air Force’s commitment to teamwork and technology. The combination of Bubba Wallace and the iconic No. 43 provides a continuing sponsorship opportunity that reflects our Air Force core values of Integrity, Service and Excellence, as well as has a positive impact on generating public awareness about the U.S. Air Force, our people and our mission.
“Like NASCAR, much of our work is based on science, technology, engineering and math principles combined with teamwork and training. This sponsorship is a great way to highlight that connection.”
Last year, Wallace visited four Air Force bases. He participated in drills at each and flew in an F-16 with the 77th Fighter Squadron “Gamblers” at Shaw AFB in South Carolina.
“I was really impressed with all the different aspects of the Air Force, and the different opportunities they offer,” said Wallace Jr. “I was able to visit different bases and see the Airmen in action and actually participate myself. That gets me excited and then I’m able to talk to inspiring students who are looking at a career in the Air Force. I’m pretty humbled to represent the Air Force.”
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NASCAR has approved John Hunter Nemechek and Chase Briscoe to compete for the Xfinity Series Rookie of the Year title in 2019, NBC Sports has confirmed.
Nemechek made 18 Xfinity starts in 2018 with Chip Ganassi Racing while Briscoe made 17 with Stewart-Haas Racing and Roush Fenway Racing.
Nemechek will compete for GMS Racing in the No. 23 Chevrolet. Briscoe will drive the No. 98 Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing.
When Nemechek was announced on Dec. 6 as joining GMS Racing, a team press release said he would compete for Rookie of the Year. But a NASCAR spokesperson said his eligibility had not been decided on at the time.
The Rookie of the Year title was not mentioned in SHR’s Nov. 27 press release about Briscoe going full-time.
The Xfinity rookie field next year will include Nemechek, Briscoe, Noah Gragson in JR Motorsports’ No. 1 Chevrolet and Justin Haley in Kaulig Racing’s No. 11 Chevrolet.
Briscoe said in an Q&A on Reddit he was “honestly surprised” he was approved.
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