Roger Penske to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom
Legendary team owner Roger Penske is set to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of his contribution to business, motorsport, and community.
The Presidential Medal honours those who have made a ‘meritous contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavours’.
Alongside the Congressional Gold Medal, it is one of the highest awards the United States can bestow upon a civilian.
“It is truly an honour to be recognised by President Trump and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom,” Penske said in a statement.
“I am humbled by the President’s acknowledgement of our achievements in business, in motorsports and in our community.
“Thank you to President Trump for this special recognition. On behalf of my wife Kathy, our family and our nearly 65,000 team members worldwide, it will be my privilege to accept this prestigious award.”
“He’s very deserving. He’s a great gentleman,” said President Trump. “I’ve known him a long time, and a very brilliant guy.”
At 82, Penske marked his 50th appearance at Indianapolis this year, with Simon Pagenaud chalking up the 18th success for the team.
Since making his debut in the late 1960s, Penske has competed at the top echelon of motorsport within the United States but has at various times expanded his racing operation.
During the 1970s he competed in Formula 1 during the 1970s, firstly using customer March cars before developing their own.
With the Penske PC4, John Watson claimed the team’s only victory at the 1976 Austrian Grand Prix, leaving the series at the end of the year.
Other international successes include a teams’ championship in Supercars in 2017, and Scott McLaughlin claiming the drivers’ title last year.
There have been 15 IndyCar and two NASCAR titles won in his cars, alongside a host of victories in sportscar racing.
Away from racing, Penske has build a hugely successful business empire and with it a personal net worth measured in the billions.