President Trump to award Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Team Penske owner, Roger Penske (L) during a ceremony to honor Indianapolis 500 winner Simon Pagenaud at the White House on June 10, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he’s awarding a Presidential Medal of Freedom to Roger Penske, the most powerful man in American motorsports.

Penske celebrated his record 18th victory as a car owner at the Indianapolis 500 in May with driver Simon Pagenaud. The Indy win earned Penske his second trip to the White House this year. Penske visited in April as Trump celebrated Joey Lagano’s NASCAR championship. The Penske, 82, is a fixture in the Detroit automotive scene and one of America’s most successful businessmen.

Trump made the announcement Thursday at the White House before talks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Trump says he spoke with Penske on Thursday and that Penske is “very deserving” and “thrilled” to be receiving the nation’s highest honor for a civilian.

Penske released this statement:

“It is truly an honor to be recognized by President Trump and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  I am humbled by the President’s acknowledgement of our achievements in business, in motorsports and in our community. Thank you to President Trump for this special recognition. On behalf of my wife Kathy (Penske), our family and our nearly 65,000 team members worldwide, it will be my privilege to accept this prestigious award.”

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