Roger Penske will make history once again in the Indianapolis 500

At a race track that has made giants of mortal men for more than a century, no one has ever stood taller than Roger Penske.

And on Sunday, in the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, Penske will look to make history once again.

The afternoon will begin with Penske behind the wheel of the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro Pace Car, and once the green flag flies to start the race, Team Penske will go all out to win a 17th Indy 500 for the man known simply as "The Captain." No other team owner has won the 500 more than four times.

Now 79 years old and worth an estimated $1.84 billion, according to Forbes, Penske shows no signs of slowing down as he continues to lead his vast business empire and his Team Penske motorsports operation, which this year is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

The numbers alone are staggering: Through the end of the 2015 season, Team Penske has won 424 races, including 16 Indy 500s, 13 IndyCar championships and five NASCAR championships. Penske has raced and won in NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula One and sports cars, among others.

And there is no let up whatsoever in Penske's game. Asked earlier this year about the possibility of retirement, he laughed. "I have a feeling my exit from this sport will be rather abrupt," said Penske.

Over the years, Penske has employed 85 drivers with some of the best in the world piloting his cars: Mark Donohue, Rick Mears, Rusty Wallace, Helio Castroneves, Rick Mears and three Unsers -- Bobby, Al and Al Jr. That list only partially scratches the surface.

Penske's race teams have always been immaculate in preparation and execution, with their perfectly starched white shirts being the organization's trademark, and a metaphor for how the team is run: Crisp, tight and totally buttoned down at all times.

If you talk with those who work with Penske and have worked with him in the past, one thing stands out about the man: His absolutely relentless and unyielding desire for constant improvement.

Brad Keselowski, who won Penske's first NASCAR Sprint Cup and XFINITY championships, tells a story about Penske and Keselowski's own father, Bob Keselowski, who is 15 years younger than Penske.

Brad said he gave Bob a cellphone some time back and whenever he sees him, he has to explain how to use it again. Not so with Penske.

"What makes Roger different is that if I handed him my cell phone right now he could use it as well or better than I could," said Brad. "That shows his insatiable knowledge, but not just knowledge, the pursuit or growth.

"He is growing not just in the business sense -- it is easy to see business growth with a new building or race team or whatever -- but Roger's ability to grow intellectually, personally and his desire to do so has not leveled off over time and I think that makes him an exceptional person by today's standards," said Keselowski.

Keselowski's teammate, Joey Logano, agreed.

"He (Penske) keeps you from being complacent I can promise you that," said Logano. "He is a motivator. He pushes you forward and he doesn't even have to say anything you just feel it."

And make no mistake Penske sets the bar high.

"It is an honor to driver for him. It isn't easy and I wouldn't expect it to be," said Logano. "He expects us to go out there and perform. He made it clear to us that we had a great year but did not achieve our ultimate goal and we will give it another shot."

Ray Evernham, who won three Sprint Cup championships with Jeff Gordon, worked with Penske in the old IROC series and has a huge amount of respect for Penske.

"Roger is just an amazing person when it comes to detail and execution," said Evernham, who was exceptionally good at both of those himself. "Most people in their lives cannot keep up the level of commitment for as many things as they do, as Roger Penske can."

And that sets Penske apart.

"That tremendous attention to detail and how you execute a plan will wear you out," said Evernham. "It will burn you out. And he continues to do it in everything he does."

As a young man, Penske was a championship sports car driver and was offered a ride in the Brawner Hawk that Mario Andretti wound up driving to a third-place Indy 500 finish in 1965.

Penske turned down that drive and stepped away from the cockpit so he could focus on a Chevrolet dealership he bought in Reading, Pa., which would be the launching pad of his vast Penske Automotive Group, which now employs more than 22,000 people worldwide.

But deep down inside, Penske is a racer above all else. Want proof? Check out his reaction when he was asked to drive the Indy 500 pace car this year.

"It was an amazing ask," said Penske. "Then I started wondering, 'How could we use this as an advantage?' That was my next thought. Do I tap the brakes or what do I do?"

What will he do? If history is any indication, Penske stands a good chance of winning that 17th 500, something his drivers are fired up about.

"Team Penske is like family and no question it would be my ultimate goal to give Roger the 100th, and with that on his 50th anniversary," said Castroneves. "It would be my fourth, but it would mean more to see Roger happy coming from me."

"It means everything," said Penske's Simon Pagenaud, who has won three straight Verizon IndyCar Series races this year and leads the points. "All the work you do as a driver since you were a kid comes to this. If I were to win this race, it would complete my career."

And that right there might be the difference: A win on Sunday would complete Pagenaud's career, but it would only add to Penske's already amazing numbers.