FONTANA, Calif.—- Roger Penske assertion that he will keep his engine shop open and production is good news for more than just the 70 employees who work there. It’s also a potential boon for Dodge.
Penske recently announced a planned switch from Dodge to Ford next year but hasn’t said whether he’ll build his own Ford engines or purchase them elsewhere.
In the latter case, the logical supplier is Roush-Yates Engines, which provides excellent power to the Ford camp.
In St. Petersburg, Fla., for this season’s IndyCar race, Penske told reporters Saturday, according to a story on USAToday.com, that he is open to building
Dodge engines as a supplier to other teams.
That’s potential good news for teams that might be considering a move to Dodge next year. If an engine supplier is already in place, the transition becomes significantly easier.
Andrew Murstein of Richard Petty Motorsports said two weeks ago at Las Vegas that the team is open to discussions with manufacturers other than Ford. Scott
Gunderson of newly formed BK Racing, which currently runs Toyotas, told the NASCAR Wire Service on Saturday at Auto Club Speedway that the team will weigh its options vis a vis manufacturers and expects to make a decision at mid-season.
JENNER’S BIG DISCOVERY
Who knew that Olympic gold medalist and “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star Bruce Jenner also has an eye for driving talent?
After winning the gold in the decathlon in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, Jenner himself enjoyed success in the IMSA GTO Series, driving for owner Jack Roush in the 1985-86 seasons.
As Jenner tells it, he recruited a talented young driver from go-karts to his IMSA team.
“In 1983, I found this kid at a go-kart track, and he was like the king of karting,” Jenner said. “I talked to him — nice kid, nice family — and I asked him,
‘What do you want to do?’ And he says, ‘I want to race; this is what I want to do for a living; this is what I want my career to be.'”
“So I said, ‘Well, maybe I can get you in a car with me.’ It took a few years to get him in the car with me, but in 1985 he finally got in his first Jack
Roush Mustang with me, and the rest is history. His name is Scott Pruett… He’s 51 (the four-time GRAND-AM Rolex Series Daytona Prototype series champion actually turned 52 on Saturday) and still winning races. He left me in the dust, this kid.”
In fact, Jenner and Pruett won two IMSA GTO races together. One of the world’s great road racers, Pruett is a four-time overall winner of the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona and a three-time Grand-Am champion.