Today marks the start of a new chapter for the city of Indianapolis, as the torch is passed from the Hulman George family to another leader who shares a passion for the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the legacy of IndyCar.
The Board of Directors of Hulman & Company are set to announce the sale of the company and certain subsidiaries to Penske Entertainment Corporation, a subsidiary of Penske Corporation, the American diversified transportation services company founded by IndyCar team owner and motorsports icon Roger Penske. "I approached him at the last race of the season (at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca), not wanting to distract from the task at hand of bringing home another championship, but I wanted to wish him well on the grid and I said, 'I'd like to meet with you and talk about stewardship, '" said Tony George, representing the Hulman-George family and IMS ownership.
In 1859, Hulman & Co was formed strictly as a wholesale foods supplier. Roger Penske will become just the fourth owner of the 110-year-old speedway.
"As you look at the construct as we go forward, the sanctioning body and will be a separate company, and the other assets will be in the Speedway", he said.
Penske's latest investment will lead to an interesting situation by which Penske will own a leading IndyCar team as well as the series in which the outfit competes.
"I can not think of a better owner than Roger Penske and his corporation to ensure the growth and future of IndyCar", Brown wrote on Twitter. For a number of years, the Hulman & Company management and board have engaged outside advisers and experts to consider the full range of strategic options available.
"This business is not broken; this is a great business and the leadership team that's been here has done an outstanding job and what we want to do is be a support tool", said Penske. Chip Ganassi said Penske called him early Monday before the sale was announced to inform him, adding "the place is going to be run like a business now".
Penske is very open to new ideas when it comes to the track.
Mr. Penske's vision, team and high expectations will ensure Indiana's most iconic asset continues to grow.
The 82 year old received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in October and is known in MI for his efforts to fuel Detroit's resurgence. CART was once the most popular form of motorsports in America, but NASCAR swallowed open wheel racing during the tumultuous times after Tony George created the Indy Racing League.
"I can not think of a better owner than Roger Penske and his corporation to ensure the future and growth of IndyCar", Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren, told the AP. He was the owner of Michigan Speedway, Auto Club Speedway, Nazareth Speedway and South Carolina Speedway. He later owned California Speedway, as well, and now runs the Detroit Grand Prix doubleheader IndyCar weekend. We all realize that as a family and organization we had probably taken it as far as we can.