Championships, Race Wins and Records headline U.S. Motorsports in 2016
In the United States, 2016 was a banner year as Shell motorsports teams came very close to securing a triple crown in three of the premier racing series – all powered by Shell technology.
Simon Pagenaud broke through for his first Verizon IndyCar title as Team Penske makes 1-2-3 sweep of top three spots in final standings. In the Mello Yello NHRA Drag Racing Series, Don Schumacher Racing claimed a sweep of the “nitro” classes with Antron Brown winning the Top Fuel title and Ron Capps taking the Funny Car crown. In NASCAR’s top division, Shell-Pennzoil driver Joey Logano posted his highest career points finish (2nd overall) following a thrilling championship contending run to the finish.
Simon Pagenaud, Antron Brown and Ron Capps each secured a motorsports championship title in 2016, marking three major wins for the roster of Shell drivers this year. Pagenaud, Brown and Capps started their seasons with one objective in mind, and all ended their season with two things in common – their vehicle is powered by Shell technology and they are 2016 champions.
“Pennzoil engineers have worked closely with our motorsports technology partners to develop motor oil formulations to help maximize performance and engine reliability. With those on-track developments and making the switch to natural gas, we’re able to produce some of the most technologically advanced, highest performing motor oils on the market,” said Rusty Barron, Vice President of Marketing, Shell Lubricants Americas. “We are privileged to be a part of the winning tradition with Team Penske and Don Schumacher Racing as they continue to make their mark in the records of motorsports history.”
Pagenaud broke through for his first IndyCar title in 2016 behind the wheel of the No. 22 Team Penske Chevrolet. The engines used in the Verizon IndyCar Series are designed to deliver extremely high power outputs and reach very high engine speeds in each race, and testing has demonstrated that Pennzoil with PurePlus Technology provides the top-tier lubrication performance that the engines require. Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic 0W-40 motor oil with PurePlus Technology helped power Pagenaud to numerous victories and the 2016 title using the same motor oil consumers can buy right off the shelf.
Brown has now won back-to-back NHRA Top Fuel championships, making him a three-time champion overall. Behind the wheel for Don Schumacher Racing, Brown has played a pivotal role in the team’s success. In 2015, Pennzoil and Don Schumacher Racing announced a multi-year relationship enlisting Pennzoil as the Official Oil Technology of Don Schumacher Racing.
“The relationship that DSR has with Pennzoil is much more than a paint scheme,” explained NHRA Top Fuel Champion, Anton Brown. “Each race is a demanding acceleration competition, with just seconds to prove the ability of our ten thousand horsepower engine. The Pennzoil race oil used by DSR provides our team the confidence to test the limits of engine performance and help accelerate us to the top!”
Don Schumacher Racing swept the Nitro Classes, with Ron Capps taking the NHRA Funny Car championship, his first championship after more than two decades of driving in NHRA competition. That’s not to say Capps isn’t accustomed to winning, as he holds the record for second-most wins in NHRA Funny Car driving history.
The technical partnership with Don Schumacher Racing provides Pennzoil with the ability to test new and existing motor oil technology developed by Shell scientists in the most extreme conditions with engines producing 10,000 horse power and speeds of 335 mph. They also gain insights from the track to aid in the production of innovative lubricants for consumer vehicles in the future.
In the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Joey Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil race team came up one position short of their first title. Logano made his way to the Championship Four final race for the second time in three years. The finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway determines the NASCAR champion between four finalist drivers, with the ultimate champion being the one that outruns the other three in the race. Logano finished fourth in the race but fell to race winner and ultimate champion Jimmie Johnson – who captured his record-tying seventh Cup title.
Overall 2016 was a fantastic year for Logano in Team Penske. As they celebrated their 50th anniversary, the No. 22 team claimed three points race victories and won the prestigious NASCAR Sprint All-Star race before finishing second in the final point standings
Simon Pagenaud and Roger Penske with IndyCar championship trophies
Joey Logano scores thrilling victory at Phoenix to compete for championship at Miami
NHRA Funny Car and Top Fuel champions Ron Capps and Antron Brown
Matt Hagan set NHRA Funny Car m.p.h and elapsed time national records in 2016