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32 year, 3 months and 11 days at Penske Racing - I'M RETIRED!!!

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Old 12-23-2010, 05:05 PM
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Thanks for all the kind wishes - they will help ease the transition.

Craig - You're right, there were lots of memorable (good and bad) moments. Picking the top one is like trying to pick your favorite dessert.

Linda Vaughn remembering my name the second time she met me.
Getting to see this amazing country while driving trucks coast-to-coast. (Hint: Watch the animated movie "Cars".)
Surviving my first pit stop, unscathed and with no mistakes.
The first time that the car I was assigned to won a race (Mario Andretti, Michigan 1980).
The fire in Rick Mears' pit in the 1981 Indy 500.
The GIGANTIC fire in the pit right behind us two months later at Michigan. 280 gallons of methanol.
Rick's car locking up solid with a broken gearbox as we pushed it back to the garage from Victory Circle at Watkins Glen in 1981, after winning the race.
Meeting Jackie Stewart, Stirling Moss, and tons of other legends of the sport.
Winning the lots of races and CART Championship with Rick Mears in 1981 and 1982.
Leading every lap of the first two races in 1982.
Breaking the track record by SEVEN miles per hour at Indy in 1982. On the first day of practice.
Winning the Pocono 500 by three laps in 1982.
Getting a stainless Rolex from Rick for the 1982 Championship.
Flying to England for two weeks every fall to help build the first "next year" car. And dreadful British food.
Heather Locklear in the pits at Cleveland in 1983.
Witnessing Rick Mears' crippling crash at Sanair in 1984. The worst feeling ever.
My first Lear Jet ride with RP in 1984.
Starting up the very first Ilmor engine of any type in 1984.
Winning the 1985 Indianapolis 500 in my first year as a Chief Mechanic, in only my third race in that role. (Anyone remember Danny Sullivan's "Spin-and-win"?)
Setting a Pit Stop Competition record that stood for 14 years at the 1985 Indy 500.
The GOLD Rolex that AJ Foyt's family presented me for the 1985 500. Still on my wrist to this day.
Finding out that AJ is actually a really cool and friendly guy as long as you keep the TV cameras away.
Christy Brinkley (then Mrs. Billy Joel) in the pits at the Meadowlands in 1986.
"Big Al" Unser winning the 1987 Indy 500 with a year-old car that we had re-activated from show car duty 12 days earlier.
Winning the 1988 CART Championship going away, with one race still left, after coming into the fourth race of the season with zero points. We won nine poles, five races and set 10 track records in the process.
Roger meeting me late at night at the Reading airport to offer me the Team Managers position in late 1988.
..and this was only the first ten years...


Dang. That is awesome. Did the door already hit you on the a$$ or is this planned soon? Remember......"it is better to burn out than to fade away". Keep busy.
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Old 12-23-2010, 05:07 PM
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After you retire you will wonder how you had the time to work. Enjoy your hard earned freedom.
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Old 12-23-2010, 05:27 PM
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congrats c you stuck it out a long time . i raise my beer to tost u . happy retirement . robbie
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Old 12-23-2010, 06:14 PM
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Congrats.. Great job!!
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Old 12-23-2010, 06:43 PM
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Woo-Hoo Congrats Chuck!!!
You earned it and deserve it!
Now you can enjoy your second love, or maybe your first love of boating! Great to know we will see more of you this year!
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Old 12-23-2010, 06:47 PM
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very impressive, and sounds like a bit of fun as well.. hats off,,,, now continue to enjoy yourself.
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Old 12-23-2010, 07:01 PM
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p.s , i ll stand applaud,,,,,,,,,
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Old 12-23-2010, 07:38 PM
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Awesome Career! Congrats! Hope to see you out on the water!
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Old 12-23-2010, 07:40 PM
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Congrats Chuck, I had no idea that day we went for a ride in my 353. Was that the keys?
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Old 12-23-2010, 08:13 PM
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Congrats Chuck, I had no idea that day we went for a ride in my 353. Was that the keys?
Barkley!!! That was Key West 2001, if you can believe it. I still feel guilty about chickening out when it got bumpy and getting us wet. Thanks again for the "R&R" ride on Lake Lanier so many years later. I owe you a day on the water next time we meet.

Nort - I'm done now. We finished clearing the building out yesterday, and I took the whole gang and their spouses out to dinner at the Peanut Bar. A great, if somewhat bittersweet, evening. Really good guys - I hope that they all land on their feet.

If it hadn't been for the recession, I'd be hanging it up anyway about now. As it is, between my severance package and the part-time deals, I'll be where I want to be by late 2012. I invested heavily in Penske stock when it was available to us, and that has made a big difference.
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Last edited by C_Spray; 12-24-2010 at 11:03 AM.
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