Team Penske Profile - Gary Glase

February 25, 2015

Team Penske will be recognizing its 50th anniversary next year. This month’s Penske Profile subject is currently observing his 25th year with the historic organization. Gary Glase oversees the Drive Line Department for Team Penske’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and XFINITY Series Fords. During his 25-year tenure with the team, Glase has worked on the INDYCAR, American Le Mans Series (ALMS), and NASCAR programs. He has been a part of winning multiple marquee races and championships in all three series.

Glase says that racing has been a part of his life since birth. His father was testing a new motor at a race track when his mother went into labor (she was at the circuit at the time, but she made it to the hospital in time to deliver Gary). Growing up in Reading, Penn., with his father always working on cars, Glase took an interest in mechanics. In high-school, Glase took an automotive vocational class, and the instructor had a connection to Penske Racing via Karl Kainhofer (Roger Penske’s first racing employee).

While he was introduced to Penske Racing in high school, Glase got a shot at his dream job five years later. He started working in the Team Penske INDYCAR engine shop on January 2, 1990. He worked on engines for 10 years during which time he had the good fortune to be a part of one racing’s most historic moments – he worked on the team’s legendary special engine project for the 1994 Indianapolis 500. That was the race where Team Penske introduced the push-rod engine that broke records and dominated the race. In Glase’s years building engines the team won three Indianapolis 500-mile races.

In 2000, Glase transitioned the gearbox department. The move meant he could try his hand at something new with the cars and it also allowed him to begin traveling to tests and races. Glase remained in that capacity with the INDYCAR team until 2005. During his time working in the gearbox department, the team won three Indianapolis 500-mile races, bringing his career total wins to six. At the conclusion of 2005, Glase was given the chance to be a part of the development of the team’s Porsche RS Spyder sports car program.

This new opportunity afforded him that chance to travel to Europe as he aided in the testing and development of the Penske Porsche that would go on to dominate the American Le Mans Series, earning three consecutive championships from 2006-2008. While a part of this program, Glase experienced yet another career highlight as the team won the overall victory at the 2008 12 Hours of Sebring.

After the Penske Porsche program concluded, Glase made yet another big change. He moved over to the team’s NASCAR operation where he oversees the gearbox department. “The biggest difference between the INDYCAR and NASCAR programs is the large volume of parts needed for our Cup and XFINITY cars,” said Glase. “We have 50 transmissions and 350 rear gear differential assemblies. This many parts and the constant race schedule keeps my two co-workers and I very busy.”

In his time overseeing the NASCAR gear department, the team has won numerous races, multiple NASCAR XFINITY Series titles and the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.

Over the course of his extraordinary 25-year career with Team Penske, Glase has contributed to organization’s remarkable success. “Some years are better than others, but every time we go to the race track we have a legitimate shot at winning,” said Glase, who adds that he is proud to be part of such a special organization.

Glase lives in Mooresville, NC with his wife and two daughters. He has a 1969 Camaro Z/28 Rally Sport that he restored and has owned for 32 years.