1972: A Memorable Indy 500

It was 1972, and it was a watershed year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In 1968, Penske shifted his attention to Indy cars and in 1969 Penske arrived at Indianapolis. In Penske’s first three years at Indianapolis, Donohue qualified on the front row twice and led the race on numerous occasions. Penske had eyed Bettenhausen from the time he watched him win at Phoenix in 1968, while driving an older car for a short-budgeted team. “About 40 laps into the race I knew we were in trouble,” explained Bettenhausen. Many thought it should’ve been Bettenhausen’s win and Donohue, typically gracious, admitted as much. Donohue retired, returned and died driving a Penske Formula 1 car in 1975. Penske’s intense focus to win the world’s greatest race burns just as brightly.

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