Roger Penske accomplished another first Monday night in a different kind of Indianapolis and Charlotte double as Ryan Blaney won the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Blaney capped off a weekend sweep for Penske a day after the legendary team owner won his 19th Indianapolis 500 with Josef Newgarden. It is the first time Penske has accomplished the back-to-back feat.
“I don’t think there’s anything that changed, but definitely, we keep each other under pressure for those doubles,” said Team Penske president of NASCAR operations, Michael Nelson. “It was something we really wanted to do; we’ve had a chance to win the All-Star (Race) and the (Coke) 600 before, but to get the Indy 500 and the Coke 600 all in one weekend is pretty amazing. So yeah, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to deliver that one after the big win this past weekend.”
Monday night’s win for Blaney was a return to victory lane for the first time since the summer of 2021. It is Blaney’s first crown jewel win in NASCAR.
“It was obviously a big weekend for Team Penske,” Blaney said. “Watching the Indy 500 yesterday, how that played out and watching Josef win his first one and watching Mr. Penske win number 19, that was really cool to see. When that stuff happens, you’re like, well, the pressure is on to try to sweep the weekend, especially in two really big weekends. That was the goal, and fortunately, we executed well enough to get it done.”
A sweep of NTT IndyCar Series and NASCAR events is not unfamiliar to Penske. Last fall, after trying for decades, Penske won the IndyCar and NASCAR Cup Series championships for the first time in the same season. But the Memorial Day weekend sweep was another first for the organization.
“I’m really looking forward to talking to Roger here after I get done and back to the bus because I haven’t congratulated him enough and I’m looking forward to hearing his voice,” Blaney continued. “It was a big weekend, and obviously, winning the (Coke) 600 is massive. I grew up coming here watching my dad race for a long time as a kid — it’s what we did every summer. It was cool for my parents to be here as well. That was a special moment. Fun night, that’s for sure.”