Image Reference: Wikipedia
Network 10 may not be the only guys leaving Supercars after their last race last weekend with the Bathurst 1000.
Ten will hand over the Free TV baton back to Channel 7 from early February over the next five years.
But Team Penske chose to join Ten on the leave bandwagon from 2021.
They will take Scott McLaughlin with them full-time to America.
That means they have sold their portion of control to Ryan Story.
Hence, the name reverted to Dick Johnson Racing.
We look at how the upcoming change will affect both Penske, its drivers, and DJR.
Penske made their way into this scene when Marcos Ambrose returned from NASCAR in late 2014-early 2015.
But Marcos only made the two first races without the desire to drive more.
And it reduced his workload to only endurance events.
Then Marcos largely disappeared from public life ever since.
Scott Pye spent the next two seasons with one P3 during Race 2 at Phillip Island.
The consistency may not be outstanding during their foundations in drivers points:
- P19, 2015
- P15, 2016
But he built a great base to put DJR back on the front row like the old glory days.
Scott P also scored their first pole during Race 1 of the 2016 Clipsal 500.
Plus two podiums along the way:
- P3 during Race 7 of the 2016 Phillip Island SuperSprint.
- P2 during Race 26 at the 2016 ITM Auckland SuperSprint.
Then they replaced Pye with Scott McLaughlin over the next four seasons.
And that move became much successful this time around:
- 3 x Drivers Championship with Scott McLaughlin between 2018-2020
- 1 x 2019 Bathurst 1000 with Scott McLaughlin & Alex Premat
Roger made countless claims about his admiration for Scott at the same time.
He considered IndyCar or NASCAR as his best fit to continue this relationship.
The decision eventually played into the world of open-wheelers at IndyCar.
His IndyCar debut will come Monday at 5.30 am AEDT time at the Grand Prix of St. Pete, FL.
Scott M will then take over the Penske 4th full-time IndyCar seat from 2021.
NASCAR also would be an excellent fit, but Scott entered that late at age 27-28.
He has to get used to turning left all the time, which is the first step.
Then Scott can go to the Xfinity level and try to win races before moving to Cup.
Fabian Coulthard also joined DJR Penske in 2016 in the 2nd seat.
He continued to experience some great success at the helm:
- Eight wins
- 30 podiums
- He Finished 3 x Top 6 in the Drivers Championship in 2017 (P3), 2019 (P4) & 2020 (P6).
The credit mainly comes from fellow Kiwi Scotty M.
They worked together to put them back on the front row with three Teams titles:
Fabian is happy to see Scott M go on and make IndyCar a successful hunting ground.
But he also reflected on his time as Scott M’s team-mate.
He is age 38 right now, with not knowing where his 2021 ride will land?
It could be staying on at DJR & follow Scott M footsteps.
That would be the Bathurst 1000 & Drivers Championship.
If not, he will consider all the other options that are best for him.
I am sure Roger Penske loves our great country & should continue to come here on occasion.
Just not right now due to the worldwide travel ban from COVID.
The Supercars venture may not be around as long as it likes.
But the Penske brand will stay here regarding their truck rental business.
I am sure Scott M’s replacement will continue racing its proud DJR brand.
We might see them race in America, such as IndyCar or NASCAR one day.
For now, I wish Scott M his IndyCar debut on Monday morning.
And his full-time ride in the hope of winning the Indy 500 & the main title.