MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Nov. 28, 2007) Saying goodbye to one of its longtime leaders and fortifying itself for the future, Penske Racing announced several key organizational changes for the 2008 NASCAR season on Wednesday.
Don Miller, who has served as President of Penske Racing South Inc. since its inception in 1990, is retiring from his position after nearly two successful decades at the highest levels of stock car racing. Miller, 68, has presided over 75 victories, 95 pole positions and more than $90 million in winnings for Penske Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series as well as NASCAR Busch and ARCA series events.
Penske Racing also announced Wednesday that Mike Nelson, who just completed his first season as crew chief of the No.12 Alltel Dodge driven by Ryan Newman, has been promoted to Vice President of Operations. In his new role, Nelson will oversee Penskes entries in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series, reporting to Tim Cindric, President of Penske Performance Inc.
In addition, Roy McCauley, an experienced crew chief and engineer for Penske Racing since 2002, has been named crew chief for the No. 12 Alltel team. Reuniting a winning combination, McCauley will once again be paired with Newman. The duo produced wins in six of the nine Busch Series races they competed in during the 2005 season, with McCauley serving as crew chief.
On behalf of our 39,000 employees, I want to thank Don Miller for all hes done for Penske Racing over the years, Roger Penske said. Hes been a partner and great friend and he will definitely be missed. Were looking forward to the 2008 season and were excited about the new opportunities for both Mike and Roy as they focus on the challenges ahead.
A native of Chicago who began his motorsports career as a drag racer in the 1950s, Miller has done more than just guide one of the winningest programs in racing over the last 17 years. Hes also a top designer who has been at the forefront in developing safety measures in NASCAR.
Its been a pleasure and an honor to help lead Penske Racing, Miller said. Under Rogers direction, the organization has seen tremendous growth and Im proud of all that we accomplished.
After joining Penske Racing as a data acquisition engineer in 1998, Nelson was on hand for Newman's first test with the team in April 2000, eventually becoming the first race engineer for the Alltel squad. The 34-year-old former motorcycle and motocross racer was named crew chief for the No. 12 car in December 2006.
McCauley, 37, became chief engineer for Penske Racings NASCAR operation in December 2002. After heading up the organizations driver development team, he teamed with Newman for a successful Busch Series run in 05. McCauley became crew chief for the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge driven by Kurt Busch for the 2006 season, capturing a win at Bristol. McCauley began 07 in the same role before Pat Tryson took control of the team at mid-season after McCauley stepped aside due to his wifes illness.
Both Mike and Roy have worked hard to advance in the Penske Racing organization and they are a testament to our process of promoting from within, Cindric commented. We are looking to build on the strong performances we achieved in the second half of 2007 and we feel that both Mike and Roy are in the right positions to help us get to where we want to be.
Penske Racing is one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Competing in a variety of disciplines, cars owned and prepared by Penske Racing have 295 major race wins and 21 National Championships. The team will field three entries in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, including the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge driven by 2004 NASCAR Cup Champion, Kurt Busch; the No. 12 Alltel Dodge with Ryan Newman at the wheel; and the No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge with former Indianapolis 500 and three-time IndyCar Series Champion, Sam Hornish, Jr., making his full-season stock car racing debut.