Penske also owns the most victories as an owner in the Indianapolis 500; 16 owner victories. A winning racer in the late 1950s, Penske was named 1961's Sports Car Club of America Driver of the Year by Sports Illustrated.
After retiring from driving a few years later, he created one of the most successful teams in IndyCar Series and NASCAR racing. He is also known by his nickname of "The Captain".
He also is one of the corporate directors at General Electric and was chairman of Super Bowl XL in Detroit, Michigan. He was previously on the board of The Home Depot and Delphi Automotive before resigning to chair the Detroit Super Bowl Committee. He has an estimated net worth of $1.95 billion as of September 2015. He is a 1959 graduate of Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, where he was also a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.
Born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, Penske's father was a corporate executive for a metal fabrication company and encouraged his son to become an entrepreneur. As a teenager he bought older cars, repaired them and sold them at a profit from his family's home in Cleveland, Ohio. In 10 years, Penske raced and sold about 32 cars.
Starting in 1958, Penske purchased, raced and sold race cars, and was very successful both financially and on the track. Penske made his first professional racing start at the now-abandoned Marlboro Motor Raceway in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.