Trump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom

Trump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA MORE said Thursday that he will award auto racing stalwart and longtime friend Roger Penske with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Trump shared the news during an Oval Office meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauTrudeau rips Trump over attacks on Democratic lawmakers: 'That is not how we do things in Canada' Sarah Sanders hits Ocasio-Cortez over criticism of Ivanka Trump's G-20 appearance Macron's office 'didn't anticipate the reaction' after sharing Ivanka Trump video clip MORE.

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“He’s very deserving,” Trump said of Penske. “He’s a great gentleman. I’ve known him a long time.”

Penske is a former race car driver who gained prominence as the owner of Team Penske in Indy Car racing and NASCAR. His drivers have combined to win 18 Indianapolis 500 races and two Daytona 500 races.

Penske attended two White House events in recent months honoring his drivers. Penske joined Nascar Cup Series champion Joey Logano in April, and earlier this month returned to the White House with this year's Indianapolis 500 winner, Simon Pagenaud. 

"He won many things over the course of years and he’s become a very successful man," Trump said.

The president said a formal announcement would be issued soon.

The Medal of Freedom is awarded by the president to citizens who make an “especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, or world peace, or cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

The president on Wednesday bestowed the honor on economist Arthur Laffer, and previously announced he would be giving the recognition to NBA legend Jerry West.

Trump has previously given the Presidential Medal of Freedom to golfer Tiger Woods, Elvis Presley, former Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist, former Reagan adviser Arthur Laffer Second ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators MORE (R-Utah) and Babe Ruth, among others.