Race Engineer, No. 22 Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet
The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season marks the seventh year at Team Penske for Ben Bretzman, race engineer for the No. 22 Dallara/Chevrolet driven by Simon Pagenaud. Both Bretzman and Pagenaud joined the team prior to the 2015 season.
Since joining Team Penske, Bretzman has led Pagenaud and the No. 22 team to 11 wins, 13 pole positions, the 2016 series championship and victory in the 2019 Indianapolis 500. The 2016 season was one of the best in recent series history as Pagenaud won five races and eight pole positions.
Prior to joining Team Penske following the 2014 IndyCar Series season, Bretzman worked with Pagenaud at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports where they recorded four victories and a pair of pole wins. All told entering 2019, Bretzman has worked with Pagenaud to produce 10 wins and 10 pole awards in 118 series starts.
Hailing from Satellite Beach, Florida, and a 2005 graduate of the University of Central Florida, Bretzman began his motorsports career with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing while still in college. There, he helped the team secure a front row starting spot for the 2002 Indianapolis 500. He eventually moved up to the position of race engineer for the team following the 2004 Indianapolis 500 and remained in that position through the 2005 season.
Bretzman transitioned to Forsythe Championship Racing in the Champ Car Atlantic Series (CCAS) as lead race engineer for the four-car team heading into the 2006 campaign. Under the guidance of Bretzman, Richard Philippe became the youngest podium winner in CCAS history in the second race at the Grand Prix of Cleveland.
Having gained valuable knowledge and experience in both the IndyCar Series and the Champ Car Atlantic Series, Bretzman turned his attention to sports car racing and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) with Andretti Green Racing as an assistant race engineer through the 2008 ALMS season. Bretzman continued his learning process by gaining experience in many new areas of data acquisition and software tools throughout his tenure there. A move to Highcroft Racing prior to the 2009 ALMS season helped Bretzman produce consecutive driver championships in 2009 and 2010. While at Highcroft Racing, Bretzman had his first opportunity to work with Pagenaud and a bond was quickly formed between the two - one that would pay handsome dividends in the years to come.
Always looking to expand his horizons, Bretzman moved to Hendrick Motorsports in 2011 as race engineer for the No. 5 Chevrolet, driven by veteran Mark Martin, in the NASCAR Cup Series. While there, he helped the team earn two pole positions, two top-five finishes and 10 top-10 results in his only season of stock car racing.
Bretzman joined Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for the 2012 IndyCar Series season, reuniting with Pagenaud. In their first year together, the fast Frenchman won the series Rookie of the Year Award with four podium finishes and a fifth-place effort in the championship standings. The 2013 season brought about the first series win for the Bretzman/Pagenaud pairing in the second race of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit. A second victory followed later in the season that concluded with a third-place finish in the championship standings. Bretzman and Pagenaud earned two more victorieds in 2014, including the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis, and a third consecutive top-five finish in the point standings.
Bretzman and his wife, Whitney, and their daughter, Blair, reside in Huntersville, North Carolina.