Roger Penske on whether NASCAR team is behind the Toyotas

If you somehow missed it, Team Penske driver Brad Keselowski sounded the alarm bells Friday about what he perceives to be Toyota’s massive advantage in the Cup Series right now. His tweet was met with a hostile response from the Toyota camp.

So how does Roger Penske feel about Keselowski’s tweet and his team going up against Toyota? Fortunately, he was at Sonoma on Saturday to answer that question.

“Look, I’m not on Twitter,” he told a couple reporters when asked about the situation. “I don’t regard that the way I run my business, and Brad has his own thoughts that are probably not the feeling of the team at this point.

“Toyota has done a great job in preparation for the last part of the series. I think we had good cars early on. I think we’re a little bit behind right now. But it doesn’t mean we’re giving up, for sure.”

Penske cited Joey Logano’s seventh-place qualifying effort on Friday and Ryan Blaney’s playoff potential as evidence the team is making gains. But he stopped himself after starting to go down that road.

“I’m not one that decides to talk about my pluses and minuses in the media, to be honest with you,” he said.

OK, but what about politicking to NASCAR for help when one manufacturer starts to get ahead, as was commonplace in the old days? Does he see a purpose in that?

“NASCAR has the responsibility to have a level playing field, and if they determine that it isn’t, they can look at engines, they can look at aero and those things, and I’m sure they’re doing that right now,” he said. “But at this point, we all started with the same set of rules. Toyota has gotten hot here at the end and we’ve got to acknowledge that professionally.

“On the other hand, we’re not going to give up.”

9 Replies to “Roger Penske on whether NASCAR team is behind the Toyotas”

  1. Mr Penske has been at this a long time and in that career he has had the hot hand and now he doesn’t. He is classy enough to admit that.

  2. Jeff pulling double duty! He is tweeting out great info about the Indy Race (I now want to go to one based on what I’ve seen tweeted by Jeff) but he ALSO managed to post a blog about Mr. Penske’s thoughts on what went down yesterday

  3. Brad likes the spotlight. And if he can’t get it by performance he gets it with his mouth. Before I start I want to make it perfectly clear that I am a Ford fan. If Chevy never won another race it would be fine with me. So Ford started off the year with a bang. How long was it before JGR got to be competitive? I know Truex was cleaning clocks and Jones was having a good rookie season but JGR was out to lunch. And they were supposed to kick butt right out of the gate. Years ago when Richard Childress and Dale Sr. were on top Richard said” staying ahead was tougher then trying to catch up because you knew what you had to do to catch up but not to stay ahead”. Well JGR figured their problems out now it’s time for Ford and Chevy to do the same. Larson has shown that Chevy can get the job done now the Ford camp has to do the same. Back in the day when the manufacturer’s were making special cars and engines specifically for racing there was constant one upmanship goin on. The 1963 Chevy mystery engine, the Dodge Daytona, Ford Talladega, the hemi and I could go on but you get my drift. I know that some of these were offered to the public but only in small numbers. Now with a common template and very specific engine rules NASCAR can no longer give or take way from teams to level the field. When the Fords were way behind the Mopars with hemis in 1964 NASCAR allowed Ford to use the tunnel port engine with two four barrel carbs to keep up. However they wouldn’t allow Ford to use the overhead cam engine in the Fairlane body. Just like in 1965 they wouldn’t allow the hemi in the Satellite or Coronet body. They can’t do these things now. The rules are to restrictive for this. And each manufacturer has only one body style and engine available. Times have changed. We hear it after every race about Yates hp, TRD ho or Hendrick hp. Depended on what brand won. The whole deal is now about handling and to some extent driver ability. If you notice today if you unload fast you stay that way for the week end but if you show up slow most of the time they can’t correct it at the trac k. It’s called preparation. The Ford’s will come around. Harvick has been up front saying that the transition to Ford has been tough but that they are getting there. He’s not crying to NASCAR.

    As Far as the media espousing that Brad is trying to play head games with the other drivers to spook them what a load of crap that is. I’m done.

  4. nascar could post all aero ,hp/torque numbers , they didnt look at cars after Michigan WHY? toyota will price ford and chevy out of nascar ! spec cars and engine are coming and it be all toyota…..

  5. Brad’s constant complaining about the advantage the Toyotas have sounds a lot like sour grapes when you look at the big picture. At the start of the season the Penske cars came out of the gate strong, leading laps and winning races under the same set of rules we’re playing under today. Jimmie Johnson won 3 races in HMS equipment early this season as well. During the spring and early summer it was plain that JGR was way behind on speed and that they had some work to do to catch up and adjust to the new 2018 Camry nose. TRD and JGR have done their homework, they worked hard to develop speed throughout the season so why should they be penalized for doing a better job extracting performance? These advantages come and go in NASCAR, one team jumps out ahead and sets the mark and everyone else has a target to chase. Last year JGR jumped out ahead in the summer months and by the time the playoffs rolled around Hendrick had made enough gains to compete with them and ultimately win the title. This year maybe the Toyota teams are peaking at the right time, if others want to level the playing field…roll up your sleeves and get to work. So far in 2017 Chevrolet has 10 wins, Ford and Toyota 8 apiece….to me that’s as close to parity as you can get in a constantly evolving sport. I understand Brad is trying to lobby the sanctioning body as a ploy…but it’s a bad look. As Denny Hamlin said, “worry about your own program bro”

Comments are closed.