Roger Penske, an American businessman and entrepreneur involved in professional auto racing and formerly a professional auto racing driver himself, has completed the purchase of the NTT IndyCar Series, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and IMS Productions through a subsidiary of Penske Corporation.
The deal, which was for undisclosed terms, sees Penske take over ownership from the Hulman family – who spent 74 years at the helm.
The billionaire businessman traced his fascination with the event back to a first visit with his father at age 14, in 1951.
“Today, I hope my dad’s looking down on me and saying, ‘Son, you did a good job,’” Penske said.
“My passion for racing began at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1951 when I attended the Indianapolis 500 with my father.”
“We have so much respect and appreciation for the history and tradition of the Speedway and the sport of IndyCar racing.
“I want to thank Hulman & Company for the opportunity to build on this legacy and it will be an honour for Penske Corporation to help lead these great institutions forward into a new era.”
Tony George, chairman of the Hulman family business, choked up as he talked about giving up ownership of the speedway, which his grandfather Tony Hulman bought in 1945.
“This one is extra-special to us because we’ve grown up around it,” George said
“Our kids and grandkids have done the same.”
“We recently approached Roger Penske and Penske Corporation about this opportunity and began working to put an agreement in place.
“The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been the centrepiece and the cathedral of motorsports since 1909 and the Hulman-George family has proudly served as the steward of this great institution for more than 70 years.
“Now, we are honoured to pass the torch to Roger Penske and Penske Corporation, as they become just the fourth owner of the iconic Speedway.
“There is no one more capable and qualified than Roger and his organisation to lead the sport of IndyCar racing and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway into the future.”
Penske has won the Indianapolis 500 on 18 different occasions, including the last two editions with Simon Pagenaud and Will Power, the first Australian to win the race.
His team has also won 16 IndyCar titles with luminaries such as Rick Mears, Al Unser, Gil de Ferran, and Power.