Looking After Team Penske History with Tammy Strait

August 31, 2020

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

One of the things that sets Team Penske apart from other top sports organizations is its unique history and heritage. As one of the key people that documents and preserves all of the important moments in Team Penske history, Tammy Strait appreciates her role as an archivist for the team.Penske Material Logo

Strait charts every win, historical achievement, important date and key statistic from North America’s most successful racing team, helping to preserve the legacy of Team Penske. Now in her 20th year working in the Penske organization, Strait still enjoys doing the research to answer any question or satisfy any request she receives relating to Team Penske history. Much like the path of the team that she chronicles, Strait has had an interesting journey to her current position at Team Penske. Her road is one that’s filled with moves, new challenges and a realization of a passion she never knew she had.

Strait’s career with Penske began in Auburn Hills, Mich., working as truck driver with the Penske Automotive Centers. She was one of the division’s last employees, communicating with customers and warranties through the period when Penske Auto Centers closed its operations in 2002. The following year, the branch of the organization that helps preserve and restore many of its historical vehicles and materials – Penske Restoration – moved from Michigan International Speedway to the complex where Penske Auto Centers had been headquartered. Strait became administrative assistant for Penske Restoration and one of her duties was to manage the statistics and archives belonging to the Team Penske racing teams.

“In just my first few years working for Roger Penske I gained a great deal of respect and admiration for him and how he ran his businesses,” said Strait. “In my new role looking after the archives, that respect and admiration just grew as I learned more and more about the history behind it all.” She began to discover a new passion for the history of the organization and how to bring all of that information to life. “I found a love, not just for knowing the history behind such a great person and organization, but telling a story and making everything available so the story can be told,” she added.

In 2011, Strait began traveling to races with the Team Penske INDYCAR program, assisting with its at-track hospitality operations. Then in 2014, she relocated from Michigan to Mooresville, NC to become Team Penske’s Hospitality/Archive Coordinator, managing both areas for the team. She has embraced the opportunity, once again finding a challenge that she has a passion for.

“I have really enjoyed the hospitality position and I feel that it has helped me add a lot to the archives and my own knowledge of the team. The heritage of the team is evident at most of the tracks. Many team alumni attend the races and while at hospitality, I get the opportunity to hear some of the great stories firsthand,” said Strait.

Along the way, she has also helped contribute to some of the defining moments in Team Penske’s recent history, including the 50th Anniversary celebration for Team Penske in 2016, the team’s 50th Anniversary at the Indianapolis 500 in 2019 and Roger Penske’s induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame last year. Most recently, Strait has been managing the Team Penske Heritage Center in North Carolina, a facility that houses most of the team’s archives, which were formed from documents and materials gathered by the organization’s original communications and marketing executive – Dan Luginbuhl – a member of the Team Penske Hall of Fame.

Though she may not have taken a traditional route to a career in motorsports, Strait believes the unique opportunities she has encountered have fueled her passion for racing and give her the perspective and energy to welcome any challenges that lie ahead. Looking after the history and statistics of a team that has produced over 600 wins and 37 championships is a huge responsibility, but Team Penske is in good hands with Strait and her knowledge and appreciation for the organization’s special heritage.


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