Roger Penske has hailed the giant strides taken by his Shell V-Power Racing squad after it added a Supercars teams’ title to his illustrious racing history today in Newcastle.
The 80-year-old American billionaire was trackside as his drivers Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard swept to a one-two finish.
As well as putting McLaughlin in a commanding position for the drivers’ title, it means Shell V-Power now has an unassailable lead over the Red Bull Holden Racing Team in the team’s standings.
It snaps a run of seven consecutive teams’ titles for Roland Dane’s Red Bull-backed squad, stretching back to its first season with Holden in 2010.
A first Supercars title is Penske’s third championship of 2017 alone, with his American squad having taken out the IndyCar drivers’ title and NASCAR Xfinity owners’ crown.
Team Penske now boasts 32 championships across its 51 years of operation, as well as 16 Indianapolis 500 wins.
Speaking to Supercars.com, Penske paid tribute to those who have contributed to the Australian effort since he took a 51 percent stake in Dick Johnson Racing at the end of 2014.
DJR had not previously won the Supercars teams' title since it was introduced in 1999.
“We came into today thinking about what was at stake Saturday and Sunday, knowing that we had to really execute with both cars,” Penske told Supercars.com.
“With the team that Roland has, they’re pretty tough guys, and the incident in the early laps really set the stage for us to run a smart race.
“The good news is we’ve got one thing behind us and now Scotty will have to finish 11th or better tomorrow for the drivers’ and that’s the focus.
“We’ve come a long way since we showed up here three years ago and I think it’s a credit to all the people and the sponsors that have supported the team.
“Bringing Fabian and then Scotty and Ludo [Lacroix] on has been massive for us.”
Team Penske president Tim Cindric has joined Penske on his trip to Newcastle and also paid tribute to the quality of their opposition in the Red Bull HRT.
“Today was a day where we executed and some things fell our way,” Cindric told Supercars.com.
“We’ve been on both sides of that, but to come home one-two in a race like this and sit on the pole, you can’t ask for more from our guys.
“Obviously tomorrow is all about the drivers’ championship. The fact that we won the teams' is a testament to all these guys. It means a lot.
“We’ve been all the way at that [bottom] end of pitlane, this year we’ve made it to the middle and now we’re going to the other end.
“It’s a big credit to everybody here. It’ll all sink in at some point, but it might take a little while.
“We take a lot of satisfaction out of it because we know we beat the best. Hopefully tomorrow Scotty can finish it off. We’ve still got work to do.”
Even if Whincup wins tomorrow, McLaughlin can finish as low as 11th and still win his maiden Supercars’ title.