I grew up in Philadelphia, went to school there, became a race fan there, started my journalism career there. I was there when Roger Penske bought his first auto dealership, Chevrolet, retired as a winning sports car driver and began America's greatest race team. I was there at the first shop, in Newtown Square, Pa., and in the Reading, Pa., HQ countless times, including for the launch of the Penske Formula One car. I lunched with Mark Donohue just a few days before his death and attended his funeral and wrote about it all in the Philadelphia Daily News. I was in Chicago for the announcement that Roger had hired some guy named Rick Mears. And so it went on . . . I was there for most of it and now, 50 years later, I write the Team Penske story. It was promoted on the Front Page of Sunday's Arizona Republic and ran at the top of sports Page 1. It marked the start of our NASCAR Week in Phoenix coverage
( online at AzCentral.com ) so I hope you'll read our stories all week, including a Q&A with Jimmie Johnson, features on Chase Elliott, the Wood Brothers and NASCAR's new car rules, plus Danica and lots more. Thank you.
I'll be Tweeting from PIR's pit lane and garage area, from inside the haulers and media center, with what I find interesting and newsworthy this weekend. That additional element of my NASCAR coverage you can find at @SpinDoctor500 . Thanks.
1. Roger Penske -- Brad Keselowski gets The Captain his first win of the 50th anniversary season for Team Penske. Up this coming weekend: Start of Verizon IndyCar Series season.
3. Kyle Busch -- Won Vegas' Xfinity Series race, leading all but one lap, and ran strong in Cup race.
4. Mike Helton -- Just what NASCAR's vice chairman likes to see: Three races, three different winning drivers, Toyota, Chevy and Ford all victory lane visitors.
5. Scott Dixon -- American racing's most relentless driver opens IndyCar title defense in St. Pete.
6. Jay Frye -- Now IndyCar's racing boss, a job which traditionally has a high turn-over rate, his time in the hot seat officially begins on the streets of St. Pete.
7. Bryan Sperber -- A strong fan turnout this weekend in Phoenix would strengthen the speedway president's bid with International Speedway Corp. to fund much-needed track improvements.
9. Jim Utter -- Switched from Charlotte Observer to Motorsport.com midway last season, now in full writing swing on all happening in the NASCAR world.
[ more next week . . . ]