Jay Penske, son of the illustrious “Captain” Roger Penske, will be the first to tell you 2011 was not the kindest year to him, or to his IndyCar team, Dragon Racing.
Indianapolis was especially harsh to the second-generation team owner. Ho-Pin Tung tried valiantly but crashed heavily on Pole Day (pictured top), effectively closing that side of the garage.
Meanwhile, Scott Speed didn’t get to grips with his the team or car, never ran and was promptly replaced by Patrick Carpentier on Bump Day, who just as promptly crashed, leaving the team with too much of a workload to rebuild two cars to a competitive standard, forcing Penske to pack up his 2011 effort.
The team had been hastily reassembled after the failed partnership with Gil De Ferran saw the team’s closure. Following the Indy disappointment, the younger Penske is working hard behind the scenes to come up with the funding to run at least one full-time entry in the 2012 season.
“We’re looking to lock down one final major sponsor — trying to keep this together. We’re likely moving race shops in the next two to three weeks and we’re still actively pursuing to run a full-time program in 2012,” Penske told Speed’s Marshall Pruett.
No official announcements have been made on behalf of the team yet as to how many of the new Dallara DW12 chassis have been purchased, nor with drivers or engine choices.
While Penske’s back is against the wall, one knows that if he is anything like his father, persistence overcomes resistance.
[Article text by Matt Lennon; image via Ho-Pin Tung; video via IndyCars]