Taking Care of the Home of Team Penske

July 30, 2020

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

Keeping a large facility running and working at a productive level is a huge undertaking in a normal environment. When the additional challenges of a global pandemic and the accompanying staffing and health and safety protocols are added to the equation, it becomes a daunting task. At Team Penske, the enormous responsibility of managing the organization’s nearly 425,000 square foot facility in Mooresville, NC falls into the hands of Jeffrey Baker and Scott Corriher. Both men bring 20-plus years of diversified experience in the Penske organization to their roles of Facilities Manager and Facilities Project Lead. From necessities like keeping the building warm in the winter and cool in the summer to more expansive projects like upkeep on multi-million-dollar machines to keep them working at peak performance, Baker and Corriher lead the way for Team Penske and they’ve proven they are up for every challenge.

Baker, a native of Hendersonville, NC began his racing career in 1987 after a stint in the Army working with former NASCAR drivers Derrike Cope and the late Elmo Langley. After an 11-year stint at the now defunct Tristar Motorsports, Baker joined then Penske-Kranefuss Racing during Daytona Speedweeks in 1998. Baker served as team manager and tire changer on the No. 12 NASCAR Cup Series team working under the leadership of Team Penske Hall of Famer Walter Czarnecki, now the Executive Vice President of Penske Corporation and Vice Chairman of Team Penske.

Baker continued on the No. 12 team until the end of 2001, when he shifted to a new role as fabrication shop manager for the team, overseeing projects like the Car of Tomorrow. After nine years of overseeing the fab shop, Baker transitioned to the machine shop area, managing projects for both NASCAR and INDYCAR. In January of 2016, Baker moved into his current role as Facilities Manager as he looks after everything that takes place at the team’s world-class racing headquarters.

Corriher, a native of China Grove, NC, also began his racing career in 1987 after serving in the Marine Corp. With a background of working on cars, Corriher’s first job after the service was for Automotive Specialists, who built Cup Series and Xfinity Series engines. In 1998, Corriher transitioned to Powertech, a company that had recently been purchased by Penske Corporation and was responsible for research and development for Illmor Engines in England.

Corriher served as President of Penske Engines from 2003 to 2012, a period that saw Brad Keselowski capture Team Penske’s first Cup Series and Xfinity Series championships. After Dodge left NASCAR at the end of 2012, Penske Engines continued its engine program, also supplying engines for the first three seasons of the DJR Team Penske Supercar program. Corriher moved into his current role as Facilities Project Lead in the middle of 2017.

While both men come from very different backgrounds within the Penske family, they each appreciate the opportunities they have had to grow and succeed within the organization. Each year Baker also leads the team that builds out the Gasoline Alley garages at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway utilized by the Team Penske teams during the month of May, ensuring that the work areas have that special Penske touch.

“I’ve been traveling to NASCAR races for a long time and we have big events, but there is nothing like the Indianapolis 500,” said Baker. “The pomp and circumstance is nothing like I had ever seen before.”

Led by Baker and Corriher, the facilities team has responsibilities that go beyond the massive facility in NC that’s been home to Team Penske since 2005 and the garages at IMS.  The crew also maintains the Penske Heritage Center (formerly Penske Engines) in Concord, NC and the Penske wind tunnel also located in Mooresville, NC. While the seven-member facilities crew is very detail oriented, they handle any and all issues while the rest of the Team Penske team members can concentrate on the task at hand.

“We do not want people to concern themselves with the buildings where we work and what’s involved in the daily maintenance,” said Corriher. “We just want our co-workers to be able to come in and focus on their jobs every day without any worries.”

Team Penske FacilityAs team members have returned to the facility over the last several weeks following the stay-at-home period as a result of COVID-19, Baker and Corriher have divided their time to make sure each one of them is present during the different work shifts. Baker is on site during the morning shift while Corriher takes over in the afternoon.

Both men both summed up what the term “Penske Perfect” means to them and how they try to make sure the facility reflects that philosophy. “Being an employee of Team Penske means meeting the expectations, but also going the extra step,” said Baker.

“I take pride knowing that Roger Penske’s standard is a high standard and I wouldn’t want to work for anybody else,” added Corriher.

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