New owner for iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway

An agreement has been reached for the IndyCar motorsport series and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) to be taken over by Penske Corporation, a global transportation, automotive and motorsport specialist.

The company’s Penske Entertainment Corp. subsidiary will assume control of the properties from the Hulman family, which has owned the iconic IMS for 70 years. Penske already owns Team Penske, one of IndyCar’s most successful teams.

The Board of Directors of Hulman & Company announced yesterday (Monday) that it had entered into an agreement to be acquired by Penske Corporation. The transaction will close following receipt of applicable government approvals and other standard conditions.

The IMS said in a statement that the acquisition will carry the future of the track and IndyCar forward “for the next generation of racing fans”.

The IMS opened in 1909 and was purchased by Eddie Rickenbacker in 1927. Tony Hulman and Hulman & Company then purchased the track in 1945 and the venue has since held NASCAR, Formula One and MotoGP events as well as being the home of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

Tony George, chairman of Hulman & Company, said: “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 Corporation acquired Michigan International Speedway in 1973 and its subsidiaries have also managed the Grand Prix of Cleveland, Nazareth Speedway and California Speedway, and invested in North Carolina Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Roger Penske said: “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.”

Image: Indianapolis Motor Speedway