The Real Starting Line

Die-hard NASCAR fans seem to know all there is to know about the sport. But do they know where the race actually begins?


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No. 2 driver Brad Keselowski (left) and No. 22 driver Kurt Busch (right) met with Rick Ware, vice president of Mazak during their tour of the facility yesterday. 

The roar of an engine starts with the hum of a machine tool. At least, that’s what Penske NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing Team drivers Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski learned from their visit to Mazak Corporation in Florence, Kentucky yesterday. The drivers got to see the company’s production-on-demand machine tool manufacturing areas, which build the machine tools that in turn build components for their cars. They also spent a large amount of time answering Mazak employee questions in addition to signing autographs for all.
Mazak has been an associate and technology sponsor of Penske Racing since 1994, so the drivers decided to stop by the Technology Center and meet the Mazak employees who have contributed to their success. “Penske Racing uses Mazak machines to manufacture various critical car components, many of which will be 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,” said Brian Papke, president of Mazak.
The machine shop at Penske Racing uses the 800/30 SR vertical machining center, the Nexus 510 C vertical center, the Quick Turn Nexus 250 MSY and the Nexus 410 B vertical center. These machines help the race team manufacture simple components in the team’s race shop and complex ones, which are machined in the team’s engine shop using an Integrex e-410, Integrex 300, Nexus 510 C vertical center, Nexus 410 B vertical center, Quick Turn Nexus 250 M and a 200 B turning center.

Team Penske is in town for Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 at the Kentucky Speedway, located just south of Mazak’s facility. 

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