LIKE TEXAS RANGERS, PENSKE RACING ON CUSP OF ENDING RECORD CHAMPIONSHIP DROUGHT
TMS Media Relations | Nov 16, 2012
• Renown Owner Roger Penske Looking To End 22-Year Drought And Secure First-Ever Sprint Cup Series Title Sunday at Homestead
FORT WORTH, Texas (November 15, 2012) – The Texas Rangers and Penske Racing’s NASCAR organization may be worlds apart in the sports landscape, but they have one common thread that both have desperately attempted to rid themselves of in recent years.
The Rangers and Penske Racing currently own the longest tenures in their respective sports without capturing a championship. The Rangers came extremely close to exorcizing their title demons when the organization advanced to the World Series in 2010 and again in ’11, but fell short on both occasions. The Rangers have not won a championship in 53 seasons, dating to their beginnings as the Washington Senators.
Penske Racing now finds itself on the cusp of ending its 22-year championship drought as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to its season finale on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Penske Racing’s Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge) owns a 20-point advantage over five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet) and only needs to finish 15th or better regardless of Johnson’s finish in the Ford EcoBoost 400 to secure the title.
The Ford EcoBoost 400 will be televised live at 2 p.m. CT on ESPN. Qualifying will be televised at 5 p.m. CT today on ESPN.
“Like the Texas Rangers, Penske Racing has been chasing an elusive championship for many, many years,” Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. “The Rangers came close by playing in the World Series in 2010 and 2011, their best chances to date. It will be dramatic to see if Penske Racing can break through and win this title. The fans of Penske and Brad – like Rangers fans – are incredibly passionate and pumped up for their chances. That’s what makes sports so much fun to watch.”
Penske Racing is seeking its first Sprint Cup title in its 22nd consecutive fulltime season in the series as well as since the organization’s debut in NASCAR’s top-tier series in 1972 on a part-time basis. With the Wood Brothers running a part-time schedule currently, Penske Racing inherits the longest drought of current fulltime teams in the sport.
The closest Penske has come to that elusive title was runner-up in 1993 and third a year later, both of which came with Rusty Wallace as his driver.
It is fitting that the drought may end for Penske with Keselowski behind the wheel. Keselowski won the 2010 Nationwide Series crown for Penske, marking the first championship for the prominent NASCAR and INDYCAR owner in any of NASCAR’s three top-tier series. Overall, Penske owns 23 national racing titles, including a dozen in Indy car.
Here’s a glance at the longest droughts without a championship in sports:
MLB - 53 years, Texas Rangers
NFL – 46 years, Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles and San Diego Chargers.
NBA – 44 years, Phoenix Suns
NHL – 43 years, St. Louis Blues