IndyCar – Curiouser and Curiouser

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On this week’s OpenPaddock Live, we ranted about the “story that would not die”, the rumors continued to fly and Tony Hulman George was seeking to purchase INDYCAR. When we saw Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star writing about it, we knew that there was more to the story that just hearsay, but a concern that Mr. Cavin raised was that as a member of the Hulman & Company Board of Directors, he couldn’t be both buyer and seller. Then today, we received the following press release from IMS announcing the official resignation of Mr. George from the board with the intent of seeking a purchase solution for INDYCAR.

What are your thoughts? Excited? Terrified? Honestly, I’m at first flabbergasted! It all seems unreal. INDYCAR is finally moving in a positive direction, and to disrupt it in this way and have two men, George and Kalkhoven, that nearly destroyed open-wheel racing in North America fills me with dread.

I don’t know if this is folly, a wild last grasp at power, or a legitimate and well organized takeover plan. I do know that it’s like a horrific train wreck that you just can’t help but watch.

Official Release from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway


TERRE HAUTE, Ind., Friday, Oct. 19, 2012 – The board of directors of Hulman & Company accepted the resignation of Anton H. “Tony” George from the board Friday, Oct. 19. The resignation is effective immediately.

“Tony George has made the difficult decision to resign from the board because of his involvement with a group that has recently expressed an interest in purchasing the Hulman & Company-owned INDYCAR organization,” said Jeff Belskus, Hulman & Company president and CEO. “While the business is not for sale and no offers to sell it have been considered or are being considered, we applaud Tony’s efforts to resolve the appearance of a conflict and appreciate the gravity of this decision.”

George played an instrumental role in Hulman & Company over the last two decades, serving as president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from 1990-2004 and serving as IMS chief executive officer from 1990-2009. He also served as CEO of INDYCAR from 1994-2009 and previously served as president of Hulman & Company.

“I realize that my recent efforts to explore the possibility of acquiring INDYCAR represent the appearance of a conflict, and it is in everyone’s best interest that I resign from the Hulman & Company board,” George said. “It goes without saying that I want to do what is best for this organization.”

Belskus indicated there is no immediate plan to fill the vacancy left by George’s resignation and thanked George on behalf of the entire Hulman & Company board.

“Tony has been involved with our businesses for many years and has contributed significantly through his leadership role with IMS and INDYCAR and as a member of this board,” Belskus said. “We wish Tony much success in the future.”

The current composition of the Hulman & Company board is Mari Hulman George, Nancy L. George, M. Josephine George, Katherine M. George-Conforti, Andre B. Lacy, Michael L. Smith, John F. Ackerman, Jeffrey G. Belskus, Mark D. Miles and James T. Morris.

About Hulman & Company

Founded in 1850 and headquartered in Terre Haute, Ind., Hulman & Company has owned and operated numerous businesses over the last century-and-a-half. Hulman & Company’s current holdings include Clabber Girl Corporation, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation and its affiliated companies, including Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC, INDYCAR, IMS Productions and INDYCAR Entertainment.

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4 Thoughts to “IndyCar – Curiouser and Curiouser

  1. oregonwings

    IndyCar is acting like the WRC. Just when things are looking up, they have to grab a white hot poker and drive it into the heart of the sport. IndyCar isn’t perfect, but the new DW12 chassis and the mostly consistent rule enforcement made the 2012 season one of the best ever. Why in the heck would they want to mess up a solid formula that is just getting traction? I’m tired of the George family trying to force change on everyone, just as much as I hate it when Ganassi and Penske try and do the same. We don’t want a return of either IRL or CART. Leave what we’ve got alone!!!

    1. It would be like snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, wouldn’t it.

  2. atb73

    Captain, the band is fired up and the deck chairs are re arranged, shall we board the women and children, sir?


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