Moyer Has the Right Material for Team Penske

May 24, 2021

"Penske Material" provides an inside look at some of the personalities, stories and moments that make Team Penske so unique.

Kyle Moyer was Penske Material long before he joined Team Penske.

Moyer, the INDYCAR program General Manager, has more than 30 years of experience in the industry and he’s worked for some of the most successful drivers and teams in the series, most notably Andretti Autosport. The Indiana native also serves as the race strategist for Team Penske’s No. 22 Dallara/Chevrolet driven by Simon Pagenaud.Penske Material Logo

His motorsports career began as a teenager working at Gary Bettenhausen’s race shop in Monrovia, Ind., doing everything from sweeping the floor to working on sprint cars. He eventually worked his way up to a member of Tony Bettenhausen’s spring car team. As a senior in high school, Moyer almost missed his graduation because he was in Indianapolis working with Gary Bettenhausen to qualify for the 500.

“Graduation was on Saturday afternoon and we were trying to get qualified,” said Moyer. “I finally looked at (Bettenhausen) and said I’ve got to go because I promised my mom that I’d do one thing – I’d show up at my high school graduation. It was probably four in the afternoon. Gary had two twins that were also graduating with me. I saw the twins (at the graduation) and I saw his wife and she’s looking at me, kind of staring. I said, ‘What is it?’ and she said, ‘Well, he made the show.’ That was before you had texting and everything like that, so communication was slower. We found out as we were graduating that he qualified for the 500.”


Soon thereafter Moyer joined Galles-Kraco Racing in 1989 and worked with driver Al Unser Jr., when he won the 1992 Indianapolis 500 in 1992. Moyer then joined Forsythe-Green Racing (which would eventually become Andretti Autosport). He enjoyed a breakout season in 1995 with driver Jacques Villenueve, who captured the Indianapolis 500 and the CART Series championship before he departed for Formula One. As the Director of Operations at Andretti Autosport, he oversaw the team’s INDYCAR program. Moyer worked with the team for more than 20 years and was a driving force behind multiple Indianapolis 500 victories (including wins with Dan Wheldon, Dario Franchitti and Ryan Hunter-Reay) and series championships (with title runs for Tony Kanaan, Wheldon and Franchitti).

Moyer joined Team Penske just prior to the 2015 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season. Since he came on board, Team Penske has won the Indianapolis 500 three times – in 2015 with Juan Pablo Montoya, in 2018 with Will Power and with Pagenaud in 2019, which represented the organization’s 18th victory at Indy. Team Penske has also produced three championships since Moyer joined its ranks with Pagenaud winning the title in 2016 and Josef Newgarden capturing the crown in both 2017 and 2019.

In his role as team GM, Moyer has also worked with a variety of drivers and their widely different personalities, from Juan Pablo Montoya to Simon Pagenaud. Patience is a key element but Moyer also firmly believes that drivers need to be themselves.

“Juan Montoya approaches how he wins races and preps completely different than a Jacques Villeneuve,” said Moyer. “You look at it and both of them have won the 500, both of them have won INDYCAR championships, both of them have won in F1 but they are both completely different drivers, and both attack a different way. And you’ve got to let the person be that person.”

Moyer said the biggest differences between Team Penske and the other teams he’s worked for is the legacy of the Penske name and the depth of resources within the company.       

“I think the biggest difference is just in the name itself and the brand,” said Moyer. “Nobody has a bigger brand name in racing than Penske and it’s a name that you need to respect. Even from the outside you see the brand and now you become part of it, so you want to make sure that you don’t tarnish it in any way. It probably makes you work twice as hard.

“The resources here are pretty outstanding. At other places we had wind tunnel programs, shaker rigs and stuff like that but because Penske has had them for so long, much longer than everybody else, and they’re refined them so much better. I think that’s probably the biggest key to Penske on being successful is that everything has been started so much earlier and they are so much farther down the road with the resources.”

For someone who has enjoyed so much success, finding a new challenge might be difficult, but not for Moyer. His latest opportunity is to help develop the talent of rookie driver Scott McLaughlin, who joined Team Penske’s INDYCAR program full time in 2021. For Moyer, working with McLaughlin represents a departure from his experience with veteran drivers in the past. McLaughlin won three championships for the DJR Team Penske Australian Supercars but this is his first full season in INDYCAR, which steepens the learning curve.  

Penske Materials“That was a new thing just to get him used to like being outside in a cramped little space, not really open and nets and windshields and stuff that he’s used to,” said Moyer. “That was pretty interesting to get involved in that. The raw speed of the IndyCar is pretty fascinating. I think it surprises a lot. Now in his case, he ended up loving it. Right then and there you could tell that okay we’re already halfway down the road. Some people are amazed by it, he was actually excited by it. I think the biggest thing is he’s developing very, very quickly – a lot quicker than I thought.”

One of the Team Penske’s most impressive statistics is the numbers of employees who have been with the company for over 30 years. Moyer thinks the structure of the organization has a lot to do with the loyalty and longevity of its associates.

“I think it works on both sides of the fence,” said Moyer. “I think that the team takes care of people very, very well. It’s a structured team, everybody knows what’s going on. Everybody is included in everything that happens and you’re part of it from the bottom to the top so nobody is left out. I think because of that the employee feel comfortable and if you feel comfortable working in a place, you’re going to try twice as hard. If they help you out, you’re going to help them out so that’s how it works going both ways.”

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