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November 21, 2015

Roger Penske

Homestead, Florida

THE MODERATOR: At this time we'd like to call up Roger Penske, who is Team Penske's owner. They have claimed their third consecutive NASCAR XFINITY Series Owner's Championship, and Roger has just become the second owner in NASCAR XFINITY Series history to win three consecutive owner titles. The No.22 Ford with Roger Penske as its team owner is the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series owner's champion.
Congratulations, Roger, on yet another championship in NASCAR. Just talk about your thoughts about winning this championship and what it means to your organization.
ROGER PENSKE: Well, I think as anyone would know, having three in a row is an amazing feat, and to think we did it with four different drivers in the same car. To me that just shows the continuity, and Greg Erwin and the team, what they were able to put together week after week.
We fought hard to win this championship. It's interesting when you have the Cup guys drive it a few weeks and then you have Blaney and then Alex Tagliani had a great run, obviously, for us on the road courses.
It's pretty special to take something home this year, and I guess that's what we can do here at the end of the season.

Q. What are your opinions about Ryan Blaney going back to full‑time racing? He's been a great driver for you this year.
ROGER PENSKE: Well, I think it's a perfect time for Ryan to step up. He's certainly showed what he can do in the XFINITY Series and he's run some Cup races for us. Our relationship with the Woods is certainly a technical one but also one where we support them with equipment, and I think the opportunity for him to race next year and to have a good sponsor on that car is good for the series. And certainly the history with the Wood brothers, we raced against the Wood Brothers for many, many years, and to see them come and have a full‑time car is pretty special I think to the sport, and certainly we're glad to be part of that operation and to support it next year.

Q. Roger, what have you seen out of this team the last three seasons with Brad and with Joey coming on board? What has stood out to you knowing as many drivers as you've had within the last three years? What's been the big thing about this whole Owner's Championship and the 22 team?
ROGER PENSKE: Well, I think it's long and it's deep. I think that Brad came on board here, I guess, four years ago, whenever it was exactly, and he said we were going to build a team. We started with Paul Wolfe, and certainly when you think about the success Paul has had first in the XFINITY Series, winning the championship and then coming on and Todd Gordon, another great crew chief in the series, and Jeremy Bullins, who's over today on the 21, and then Greg Erwin. So I think it's been a melting pot for our crew chiefs, but at the same time, they've been able to get close to the drivers, and I think the information that's passed between the drivers, as you've seen, our cars are pretty much consistent week after week between the guys, if they're running the same cars.
I think we have a great bench. I think the big weakness we had in the past maybe was on pit road, and I'd have to give those guys a really high‑five on what they've been able to do here for the last several weeks. We had great stops today, and I think that you've got to be good on the racetrack. You've got to be good after it. I think we've developed a very strong bench that's going to take us a long way next year.

Q. Roger, you talk about how important it is as a feeder series and being able to develop talent and everything. But when you look at the cost behind what it takes to put those teams out there and everything, how do you balance that? Because I would imagine you're putting an awful lot of money out there for something that's‑‑ I don't know how you measure the results and the worthiness of it, I guess.
ROGER PENSKE: Well, I think it's an investment. It's an investment on pit road for building guys over the wall, point number one, and point number two, to take a young driver like Blaney and get him in a car. The top driver is just not available when you need him, so you've got to build him. You've seen what Gordon and Johnson and all the great drivers.
From the standpoint of sponsorship, Discount Tire has been with us almost from the beginning. They like the XFINITY Series. They think it gives them exactly what they want. To me we've got a good sponsor. We only run one car, occasionally we run two maybe at Watkins Glen, but to me I think it's an important part of our organization. Running two Cup cars and having the ability to work with the 21 I think helps us build that team, and we can move people back and forth, and then of course with the XFINITY, it's really the early stages of young guys that are coming into the sport and people that can make a difference.
You know, there's just no question that the people have moved up. Everybody that's at the top level today in our Cup cars have won and worked in the XFINITY Series, so I think that that's amazing when you think about it.

Q. There probably was a time not very long ago you thought one or both of your drivers would be competing for the championship tomorrow. I just wondered everything that had taken place, the meetings that you guys have had. You've talked with NASCAR and so forth. Do you feel that the incident around what transpired between Matt and Joey is over and done with and that you guys can move on from it?
ROGER PENSKE: Well, I haven't had any meetings with NASCAR, to be honest with you. I think Joey has had a meeting this weekend. I look at it this way: What's happened has happened. You just can't go back and replay it. If you did, maybe other things would take place. Very unfortunate when you think about the number of wins we've had, the poles and the number of laps won. I think the two races, Texas and certainly Martinsville, we led 79 percent of the laps, and in three races we ended up with three wrecks, and one second place. It's disappointing for the team, but on the other hand, we're going to keep going here. We've got a great organization, and you know, the fans are getting a great show, and what we have to do is keep our team together. I think that's what we've done. Keep our heads high.
I fully support both Brad and Joey. For me to get into a wordsmithing contest with what I think or don't think, I don't think that means anything. It's more important to take the high road on this stuff and continue to compete at a high level and show the speed we had. You saw we had it at Phoenix, and hopefully we'll have a good run tomorrow and we'll finish the season with a lot of wins and some successes, and I guess at the bottom line there will be some disappointments.

Q. I know you just said that you don't want to wordsmith with opinions, but did you think that the suspension was just considering the stakes that were on the line for Joey?
ROGER PENSKE: You know, I don't make that decision. I didn't know exactly what would be the outcome of after the accident. I could have thought a lot of things that could have happened, but you know, NASCAR called it. There was no opportunity for us to challenge it in any way, shape or form, and as I said to Joey, we've got to move on here.
You just can't replay these things. I mean, I think the drivers talked this weekend, and they've got to race each other for a number of years. We've got to race Gibbs. I've talked to Joe about it, and I think that at the end of the day, I'm going to put it behind me and go forward.
THE MODERATOR: Roger, congratulations on this championship and for all of the accomplishments certainly that your race organization has had, not only this year but throughout the history of Motorsports.
ROGER PENSKE: I just want to congratulate Kyle. That was as good a run as I've ever seen. Terrific speed today. Congratulations.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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