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The Bob Russo’s Founders Award honors the individual that demonstrated profound interest, tireless efforts, and undying dedication to auto racing. It was given to Mario Andretti for 2020 and to Robin Miller for 2021. (Bruce Martin photo)

IMS Honors Luginbuhl, Andretti & Miller

INDIANAPOLIS – The Angelo Angelopoulos Award is given to someone who represents sportsmanship and sponsorship, and it is not given out annually every year at the Indianapolis 500. This year’s award was given to Dan R. Luginbuhl of Penske Racing.
 
Luginbuhl was the longtime publicist of Roger Penske’s racing team from its early days in the 1960s until he retirement in the early 2000s. He continues to work as a consultant for Penske Corporation today.
 
“Angelo Angelopoulos was the sports feature writer at the Indianapolis News, who really loved the 500-Mile Race and the drivers,” Luginbuhl said. “He befriended Bill Vukovich in the 1950s when Vuky kept his distance from the media. I’m humbled to be included on the memorial trophy that resides at the Speedway since 1963.
 
“I want to dedicate this award to everyone at Team Penske specially the great drivers over the years, Mario Andretti, Rick Mears, Al Unser. You know the list. Of course, ‘The Captain.’ Thank you, Roger, for the opportunity.
 
“I also want to remember our old friend, Bill York.”
 
The Bob Russo’s Founders Award honors the individual that demonstrated profound interest, tireless efforts, and undying dedication to auto racing. It was given to Mario Andretti for 2020 and to Robin Miller for 2021. 
 
“I knew this was coming and I was wondering if they forgot about me last year,” Andretti said. “When you look at the roster of previous winners, we all adore the sport, we live for it. It’s life and blood. To be recognized in this fashion is hard to explain what it really means.
 
“Dan Luginbuhl mentioned my name and that sent chills.
 
“I’m happy and proud to be included in that group.”
 
Miller is a lifelong motor racing journalist with over 50 years of coverage to the Indianapolis 500. He was a unanimous selection by the committee.
 
“Bill Russo was a World War II fighter pilot who worked for Speed Age Magazine and the drivers all trusted him because he traveled with them,” Miller recalled. “I thought, what a job that would be to cover auto racing like that. Then he became the PR director at Ontario Motor Speedway, which was so far ahead of its time.
 
“He did it all and was such a wonderful, wonderful guy. I’m so glad I got to know him, and I wish you could have all known him, too.”
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