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Rose-Hulman Alumnus Rides to the Top

April 11, 2011

Rose-Hulman Tim Cindric was 32 years old when he shepherded Penske speed division and champion Helio Castroneves to a surprising Indy 500 win.

After the big win, Helio praises Cindric on Charlie Rose.

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Alumnus Tim Cindric Hailed among Nation's Top Mechanical Engineers

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology alumnus and Indianapolis native Tim Cindric, president of Penske Performance Inc., has been named one of America's top mechanical engineers by Inventors Digest magazine.  

Cindric was one of six mechanical engineers whose career achievements were featured in the April issue's Modern Marvels section. The group was chosen based on peer recognition, societal impact of their work and commitment to the craft.

A 1990 Rose-Hulman mechanical engineering graduate, Cindric has managed Penske's racing operations, including NASCAR and IZOD IndyCar Series teams, since 2005. During that time Penske's Indy car program has won 54 races, including five Indianapolis 500 victories and a record-tying three straight wins from 2001-03, and nine NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories, featuring the 2008 Daytona 500.  

Cindric received the inaugural Herb Porter Memorial Award in 2002. The award recognizes the person who through innovation, technical advancement or other accomplishments has enhanced the philosophies and goals of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.


Ironically, Cindric's motorsports career started working alongside his father, Carl, in Porter's Speedway Engine Development operations center. And, it was Carl who urged his son to get an engineering degree in order to realize his dream of becoming a race car mechanic.

Cindric has far surpassed those original expectations. He formerly worked as interim general manager and design engineer for TrueSports Co. in the CART Series, 1991-92, and was team manager of Team Rahal, being named 1998 and 1999 CART Team Manager of the Year.

 "Racing is a very difficult business to get into at the entry level," Cindric told Inventors Digest. "You have to be very persistent and make a lot of sacrifices relative to time and income. You have to have the passion to do it."

Asked to describe his dream project, Cindric told the magazine: "I'm living it . . . When you win at Indy (Indianapolis 500), you become part of a different club. I've had that opportunity to ride on that platform five times."

Cindric was inducted into Rose-Hulman's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001 for his four-year basketball playing career. He was recently recognized as a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame's prestigious Silver Anniversary team for his career at Pike High School in Indianapolis.