NASCAR Penske Racing Team drivers Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch (second and third from left) sign autographs and pose for photos with Mazak employees at a recent visit to the Mazak manufacturing campus in Florence, Kentucky.
Mazak Corporation welcomed Penske NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing Team drivers Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski to its Florence, Kentucky, production plant on July 6, 2011. The Penske Team drivers gathered in the Technology Center of the manufacturing campus where they shook hands with Mazak employees and signed autographs. The drivers also toured Mazak's expansive Production-On-Demand machine tool manufacturing areas, where many of the Mazak machine tool models used by Penske's racing machine shops are built from the ground up.
Local media was also on hand covering the event. Reporters from the Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati television stations WXIX Fox 19, WKRC 17 CBS and WLWT 5 NBC conducted interviews with the drivers, discussing Penske's technical partnership with Mazak and other racing-related topics.
The machine shop at Penske Racing uses Mazak's VERTICAL TURNING CENTER 800/30 SR, VERTICAL CENTER NEXUS 510 C, QUICK TURN NEXUS 250 MSY, and VERTICAL CENTER NEXUS 410 B. These machine tools give Team Penske a competitive advantage in manufacturing both its simple components in the Team's race shop and its extremely complex ones machined in the Team's engine shop, where they have an INTEGREX e-410, INTEGREX 300, VERTICAL CENTER NEXUS 510 C, VERTICAL CENTER NEXUS 410 B, QUICK TURN NEXUS 250 M and a VERTICAL TURNING CENTER 200 B.
"We were proud to be able to welcome the Penske Racing Team drivers to our facility and to display the Kurt Busch Sprint Cup No. 22 Pennzoil car and Brad Keselowski's No. 22 Nationwide Series Discount Tire car. Mazak has long been a strong Penske Racing technology sponsor since 1994, and the Mazak logo can be seen on these Penske racing cars," said Brian Papke, president of Mazak. "Penske Racing uses Mazak machines to manufacture various critical car components, and many of those components were showcased for Mazak employees to see exactly how the innovative machine tools that they build are helping to keep Penske in the winner's circle."
During the factory tour, both Busch and Keselowski showed marked interest in the Mazak technology that plays a key role in the manufacturing of components for their racecars. The drivers also acknowledged how critical technical sponsorships, such as the one with Mazak, are to Penske Racing's success.
Mazak is considered the largest metalworking machine tool builder in the world and a technological leader of the industry. The company is well established internationally with technology centers in 30 different locations including all the major countries of the world, and factories in the United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Singapore and China. The Florence, Kentucky, facility is Mazak's North American headquarters and employs 455 people.
Busch and Keselowski were in the Kentucky area for the July 9 NASCAR Sprint Cup Quaker State 400 race at the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. The speedway is a short distance from the Mazak facility, and the Quaker State 400 is the speedway's first hosted NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
Busch drives the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge for Penske Racing Team and recently won his first-ever NASCAR Cup Series road course victory, the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California, on June 26. His racing career includes 22 victories, 80 top-five and 153 top-10 finishes, along with 12 career Cup Series poles and a Cup Series title.
As a second-year Penske Team Racing driver, Keselowski has had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the well-known No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge during the 2011 season. Fresh off his first NASCAR championship in the Nationwide Series, Keselowski is well positioned for a strong Cup Series run in 2011.