HISTORY OF PENSKE RACING SHOCKS
Penske Racing Shocks (PRS) was formed in 1988 when the need for a higher performing shock absorber was identified by the Penske Racing Indy Car team. A small design office was established in Reading, Pennsylvania to produce high-quality 4-way adjustable dampers. Based on the success of Penske Racing, others noticed the competitive edge they enjoyed from a properly handling race car and made inquiries about the shock absorbers. Eventually, PRS began to supply shocks to other Indy Car teams, as well as move into the F1 market.
As word spread about the performance, quality, and response of a Penske Racing Shock, more and more teams acquired the product. PRS quickly moved into many more racing sanctions including multiple sports car and open wheel series and in many instances, our products were original equipment from the chassis manufacturers.
PRS penetrated NASCAR when the need for a higher performing damper was required to accommodate increasing car speeds. Extensive work to enter the NASCAR market paid off in 1990 with the first Daytona 500 win. Since that point, PRS has enjoyed increasing market share in NASCAR in all the various premier series and have been the exclusive rear shock supplier for Super Speedway events since 2000.
Race wins, championships and word of mouth acclaim allowed PRS to expand into many more markets. Shock absorbers were designed for drag, late model, midget, modified, and sprint car race markets, as well as professional motorcycle racing.
PRS is a dominant shock supplier in the AMA Flat Track racing series. But their motorcycle products don’t end there – there is also a line of shocks designed for Harley Davidson’s and street bikes.
The short track market continues to grow much in the same way the NASCAR market did. As cars become faster and more technical, the demands on suspension are increasing. The days of carrying around 100 shocks are fading as teams are beginning to understand that owning a few sets of Penske Racing Shocks allow them to rebuild and finely tune their suspension to accommodate varying track conditions and driver-specific feedback.
Drag racing is a relatively new growth area for PRS although dampers were supplied to Pro Stock in the 1990’s. In 2007, PRS developed new components and shock absorbers for the drag market. Since then, they have become a leading supplier of shocks and struts in various series and support technicians are available at many events. PRS has gone on to win multiply Pro-Stock and Pro-Mod championships in both NHRA and ADRL. We are the majority supplier in both Pro-Stock and Pro-Mod and continue to develop and tune with our latest technologies. We are also becoming very strong in other suspended classes such as Top Sportsman, Stock, Super Stock and even Motorcycles.
PRS also designs and manufactures products for special military projects. Military work includes replacing shock absorbers on manned or unmanned ground, sea and air vehicles in which other shocks have failed or required integrated sensors or electronic controls.
Penske Racing Shocks are also used by aftermarket powerhouses as a performance upgrade to go along with lowered ride heights, stiffer springs, and more horsepower. In many instances, a Penske Racing Shock is chosen because its external adjustments allow it to be a full race quality damper that will perform on track days but still retain a good ride quality for daily drives and highways. We supply many of the top aftermarket chassis specialists. A high-quality suspension is no longer specific to racing, street enthusiasts are feeling the benefits of Penske Shock technology.
Custom Axis Connection
In 1998, Penske Racing Shocks acquired Custom Axis Racing Shocks, a well-respected shock manufacturer in the ATV and Snowmobile racing industry. In 2005, world operations were relocated from Lodi, California to PRS’s main office in Reading, Pennsylvania. Since the companies have joined, Custom Axis Racing Shocks have gone on to win multiple championships in the GNC and GNCC racing series. Additionally, Custom Axis Racing Shocks were on the winning quad in the first ever AMA National in 2007.
We continue to develop and supply shocks for ATV’s, Side x Sides, and snowmobiles.
Due to the unique nature of the business and relatively small size, PRS has an advantage over much larger companies who use racing as a marketing effort for their OEM programs. PRS’s entire business is racing. By supplying customers with high-quality dampers quickly, PRS can assist them in meeting their needs without compromises. PRS is a custom damper manufacturer and every single Penske Racing Shock is billet machined and hand built. There are no assembly lines, no stamped out pieces, no off-shore manufacturing. The personalized attention provided to every product sold provides the finest reliability, consistency, and performance. Additionally, by working with top teams in professional motorsport, PRS continuously learns and develops new technologies that ultimately trickle down their entire product line. PRS constantly investigates ways to improve their products and service to their customers. When you buy a Penske Racing Shock, you are buying custom built product for your specific application with certifiable quality. PRS is proud to be an American company who understands the full disciplines of racing.
Penske Racing Shocks has grown to 30 employees at the main headquarters. They are diversified to support competitors in every discipline and level in professional motorsport worldwide. These include Formula 1, NASCAR, IRL, ALMS, Grand-Am, AMA, Short Track, NHRA, IHRA, SCCA, Australian Touring Cars, BTCC, Moto GP, and many more. PRS maintains a fleet of full- time race support vehicles and an at-race technical support staff in all professional series. An extensive worldwide network has helped with growth and PRS now has 6 distributors on 4 continents.
Unmatched customer support combined with the best products and innovation allows PRS to enjoy a loyal customer base in all levels of professional motorsports and beyond.