Part 10 of the 15-part feature series ‘How Roger Penske Changed The Indy 500,’ which celebrates the most successful entrant at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the 50th anniversary of his first which took place in 1969, welcomes Jon Bouslog to the conversation.
Nicknamed ‘Myron,’ Bouslog’s been the closest thing to a Team Penske mascot during his four decades with the outfit as he’s risen up the ranks from junior mechanic to managing The Captain’s IMSA sports car team on behalf of Acura.
Below are a few excerpts from the interview:
“There were so many talented people that I didn’t want to let anybody down. That seemed to be the way the team was. No guy wanted to let the other guy down, so it was always this level of … Ultimately, nobody wanted to let Roger down, and he was right there with us all the time. Obviously, he had his business going, but he was around a lot. Just really forcibly and willingly, I got better — forcibly being people not letting me get outside the box, off the reservation; reeling me back in when I was screwing up, or going down a road that shouldn’t be going; or messing around too much, or whatever. I didn’t really know, you know?”
THE BIRTH OF FANATICAL PRESENTATION
“If you look at the ’72 [Indy 500] win, if you look at photos of the ’72 Donohue car, if you look on the inside of the wheels, the inside wheel lip is polished. The [wheel] faces are polished, but the inside of the wheel lips are polished, and Karl [Kainhofer] actually pointed that out to me. He says, ‘You guys think you do it right? Well that’s where it started.’
“So that detail started at the very beginning, and as preparation, and as we went along the years, it was almost an internal competition who could make their car the nicest within reason. We used to polish bolt heads, and we’d run our … Raychem. Raychem’s a heat shrink that goes over the wiring. On the right side it went from … you could read it front to back, and on the left side you could read it front to back.
“Bolts always pointed to the right or down. These things came up by everybody. They’d all come up with these little preparation tweaks, and it was encouraged. Roger, he loved that, and that’s how he was. He always set the standard in that early on. Everybody might have a Porsche, but do they have a Porsche with nice paint and chrome wheels? I don’t know, maybe not, but he did.”