Dam Chuck I didn't know you worked for Penske. Congrats on a great career! Is that you on the right in the top pic?Our company's relationship with our major sponsor (Marlboro) has come to an end after 20 years. As a result, all of the assets of the subsidiary company that I have been running for Penske Racing (Racing Experience, Inc.) are being moved to the main shop in Mooresville, North Carolina. Unfortunately, we have also had to lay off the entire staff. In my case, I have elected to accept a severance package and continue my involvement with Penske Racing as a part-time contractor for a small program to be run by Racing Experience, Inc. in 2011.
This brings to an end more than 32 years of full-time employment with Roger Penske and Penske Racing. In that time, I have served in every capacity from truck driver and assistant mechanic to Vice President. I have done every job in the place, from sweeping the floors to pit stops to building cars to running the company. I have been part of over 80 Indy Car race wins, countless Pole positions, 8 Indianapolis 500 wins and 4 CART National Championships. I have worked with Mario Andretti, Bobby Unser, Rick Mears, Al Unser, Emerson Fittipaldi, Al Unser Jr, Kevin Cogan, Bill Alsup, Andre Ribiero, Paul Tracy, Scott Sharp, and even an unforgettable guest appearance by Ayrton Senna. All of these guys were incredible athletes and consummate professionals, but it was the guys on the team who really blew me away over the years. The mechanics, support members and engineers collectively were the most amazing group of people that I have ever met. Their dedication, skills, intelligence and perseverance in the face of situations that the rest of us would consider to be insurmountable or even frightening was something to see. Many of these people remain lifelong friends to this day, and I carry and undying respect for all of them. Short of war, there not many endeavors that push people to their limits like motor racing, particularly in the CART era from the late 70's through the late 90's. I am so lucky to have been able to experience these events and these people. What a great ride.
It's a strange feeling to realize that my time is largely my own now. With all the travelling, commitments, responsibilities and planning duties that I've carried with me every day for so long, I have to get used to enjoying time for myself now. I certainly don't regret my decision, but I have no doubt that it will take some time to adapt. I can tell you all this much right now, though: You're going to see A LOT MORE of me on the water in the future.
Merry Christmas, everyone!