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 Penske Buys IMS and Series

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
mikeamerica84 Posted - 05 Nov 2019 : 02:39:40
This is great news, men!

Roger Penske and his group have purchased the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from Hulman and Company. Along with this they have also purchased the IndyCar Series itself.


INDYCAR, IMS acquired by Penske Corporation
By INDYCAR | Published: Nov 4, 2019

The Board of Directors of Hulman & Company announced today that it has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Penske Corporation, a global transportation, automotive and motorsports leader. Penske Entertainment Corp., a subsidiary of Penske Corporation, will acquire all Hulman & Company principal operating assets, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the NTT IndyCar Series and IMS Productions. The transaction will close following receipt of applicable government approvals and other standard conditions.

The acquisition by the Penske organization will carry the future of the legendary Speedway and the IndyCar Series forward for the next generation of racing fans.

It was the vision of Carl Fisher to build the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) in 1909 and the track hosted its first races later that year. Eddie Rickenbacker later purchased the Speedway in 1927 before selling it to Tony Hulman and Hulman & Company in 1945. IMS has been the host of the world’s largest single-day sporting event – the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race – for more than 100 years. The iconic venue has also hosted NASCAR, Formula One and other racing series events throughout its storied history. The NTT IndyCar Series continues to be the premier open-wheel racing series in North America and is one of the most competitive championships in the world. IMS Productions is a leading video services and production company.

“We recently approached Roger Penske and Penske Corporation about this opportunity and began working to put an agreement in place,” said Tony George, Chairman of Hulman & Company. “The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been the centerpiece 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 honored 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 organization to lead the sport of IndyCar racing and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway into the future.”

Penske Corporation has a rich history of managing major motorsports properties, beginning with the acquisition of Michigan International Speedway in 1973. Over the course of its history, Penske and its subsidiaries have also operated the Grand Prix of Cleveland, Nazareth Speedway and California Speedway, along with investments in North Carolina Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. Penske Corporation currently promotes and operates the Detroit Grand Prix, hosted annually at the Belle Isle Park street circuit.

“My passion for racing began at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1951 when I attended the Indianapolis 500 with my father,” said Roger Penske, whose race team celebrated its 50th anniversary of first competing at IMS this year. “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 honor for Penske Corporation to help lead these great institutions forward into a new era.”

“The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and the NTT IndyCar Series have enjoyed considerable growth over the past decade, with significant increases in television, digital and social media audiences combined with record attendance at many of our race venues,” said Mark Miles, President and CEO of Hulman & Company. “With their track record of business success, their venue, operation and event experience and their passion for motorsports, Roger Penske and Penske Corporation will help us take the IndyCar Series, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and all of our properties to new heights. Everyone on our team looks forward to working with them to capitalize on the momentum that the Series and the Speedway have achieved.”

Hulman & Company’s financial adviser was Allen & Company LLC, and its counsel was Ice Miller LLP for this transaction.

15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
mikeamerica84 Posted - 20 Nov 2019 : 23:47:58
Originally posted by oldtimer

Comments seem to be delving well into historic Nostalgia.

That's where this whole topic centers around, ot. There is a long and historic past with this series and the speedway, peppered by the bitterness of the late 1990s which has divided many a fan in this arena to this day. It's not like THIS telecom company buying out THAT telecom company.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
journeyman racer Posted - 20 Nov 2019 : 22:55:19
The notion of diminishing the Indy 500 is something I'm unaware of and find it hard to comprehend was occurring. The American motorsport industry revolves around the Indy 500.

It's would've been naïve to think it could overtake F1. It doesn't matter how bad F1 is, nothing tops it.

Regarding Stewart, I'm not sure the IRL was meant to be a stepping stone for Nascar. Although Hornish was probably a legitimate find.

Originally posted by oldtimer

Comments seem to be delving well into historic Nostalgia.

Delving well into historic nostalgia?

Fbf and I have probably extended the thread by a page!
oldtimer Posted - 20 Nov 2019 : 21:14:20
Comments seem to be delving well into historic Nostalgia.
Fast by Ferracci Posted - 20 Nov 2019 : 18:35:31
Originally posted by journeyman racer

I'm curious as to what good Fbf thought Tony George had done?

It gave Americans like Tony Stewart and Sam Hornish a path into the Indy 500, along with teams like Panther, and He kept the Indy 500 at the forefront, whereas CART were trying to marginalise the event , in terms of its importance over other CART races that CART controlled

I wasn’t a fan of his 25/8 rule, but CART could have played that like a fiddle and killed the IRL by the end of 1996, but CART’s poor leadership saw that not happen
journeyman racer Posted - 17 Nov 2019 : 12:26:32
Yeah, I get all that. I'm curious as to what good Fbf thought Tony George had done?

mikeamerica84 Posted - 17 Nov 2019 : 02:09:12
Originally posted by journeyman racer

....I don't see what good he's done?

American open wheel racing was at its peak in the mid-90s before the split. Prior to that, while CART held the cards, the series grew over 15 years to that level.

Development of cars and various engines aided this move. After European and South American drivers started their influx into the series, the series dynamics started shifting to more road courses/street circuits. This influx brought $$$ into the series for the "foreign" drivers had good sponsors bankrolling them. CART was a logical series to race in for F1 is much higher $$$ and limited seats.

But this style of racing tilted the scale away from oval tracks. The IRL tried to tilt them back all the way, including bringing in American drivers. This aspect of blatant advertising that they wanted American drivers vice "foreign" drivers was taken by many as a racial/cultural shot of suppression, which added fuel to the fire. But the split was on.

Now that the series' have been re-combined, the ovals are still the Achilles heel of IndyCar. Other than the Indianapolis 500, where there are still less people attending than back in the 90s, the oval track attendance has been awful. This is attributed to the success of the road courses and the current formula of cars for racing on high speed ovals - aero push, turbulant air, etc.

The IRL formula also started making the cars more spec and actually dumbed them down with less power. CART soon followed suit somewhat and had to go to spec Ford Cosworth engines as they were soon hurting for cash. Sponsors were treating these guys like the plague and flocking to NASCAR, subsequently filling their coffers. This pretty much ignited the NASCAR explosion.

But Penske and CART brought the series up to a level it was never at before. Now the opportunity is there again. Roger has never failed in his efforts to achieve success. He is the right man and has the right people to lift this series back up. The first thing I think they will address is the oval track issue. They have to put a package together that works well for drivers and fans.

It is what he CAN do, jm. That is what all the buzz is about here the States. And I must say, his taking over has been praised and received well over here. Oz seems tilted the other way in their opinions. It is an interesting comparison to watch for this Yank.

There is no better person to take over this outfit. No one.
journeyman racer Posted - 16 Nov 2019 : 22:45:00
Well, I mean, I don't get it?

Up until the mid-90s, there was only one race outside North America.

The "infiltration" of non-American drivers onto the series is just a recognition that the series was worthwhile participating in.

It doesn't seem possible that the older generation drivers in Indycar were going to be replaced by younger, and it wasn't his problem or imprimatur to do anything about.

Aside from adding more races to the calendar for fans to follow without overloading a particular series for period of time, I don't see what good he's done?
Fast by Ferracci Posted - 12 Nov 2019 : 19:25:18
Originally posted by journeyman racer

Originally posted by Fast by Ferracci

In my opinion Tony forming the IRL was the right move for the Speedway

Interesting to read this opinion.

I just think that in the mid-90s CART was getting pre-occupied with taking races overseas and not addressing the influx of overseas drivers to the detriment of American drivers, given that in quick succession in the early 90s Foyt, Mears, Unser Sr, Mario, Sneva etc... had all retired with few new American drivers replacing them

Tony George had been voicing these topics with CART but felt he was being ignored. He had the biggest open-wheel race on the CART schedule and wanted input into CART’s future, but was rejected when he asked to be on the CART board. George went and did something about his concerns, and creating the IRL gave the likes of Tony Stewart a start in open-wheel racing.

CART chose to not compete in the Indy 500 by their own volition, and ultimately paid the price as they couldn’t live without running in the 500. Ironic as they could have killed the IRL by the end of May 1996 if they were smarter (Roger Penske included)

I enjoyed CART but loved the IRL racing too, and personally I think George did the right thing for the future of IMS by creating the IRL for 1996.

journeyman racer Posted - 11 Nov 2019 : 21:24:15
Originally posted by Fast by Ferracci

In my opinion Tony forming the IRL was the right move for the Speedway

Interesting to read this opinion.
Fast by Ferracci Posted - 11 Nov 2019 : 11:54:29
Originally posted by CP

Racci, the guaranteed start thing is a double edged sword. On the one hand, you won't see a team like Sam Schmidt getting a driver bumped out, and on the other, you sadly won't see a team as well credentialed as McLaren getting bumped bout by a small, part time team like Juncos.

The Schmidt car getting bumped in my opinion shows why the system shouldn’t be messed with. It doesn’t matter who you are, if you’re not quick enough when it counts you don’t race, purely and simply.
oldtimer Posted - 08 Nov 2019 : 15:48:24
I don't like a guaranteed start for all listed cars.

Maybe one per team, but not both.

Look at the mess that Supercars got into with the guaranteed start REC system, which drove competitors out of the sport, or category.

Anyone with a rules legal car and driver should be able to compete for the starting grid.

If the current hotshot, highly sponsored driver misses out, then tough. He should have driven faster.

They could have an organisers choice wildcard, but look at the furore if one of the series owner's cars is chosen, and it's tough on the last place qualifier who would then miss out.
CP Posted - 08 Nov 2019 : 14:25:50
I enjoyed reading Robin Millers piece on it.

Racci, the guaranteed start thing is a double edged sword. On the one hand, you won't see a team like Sam Schmidt getting a driver bumped out, and on the other, you sadly won't see a team as well credentialed as McLaren getting bumped bout by a small, part time team like Juncos.
oldtimer Posted - 07 Nov 2019 : 22:42:04
Roger's organisation owning Indycar might assist to get an Australian round, even if it is just the spare cars and some of the drivers.

They have a 33 car grid at Indy, so even 15 or 16 spare cars must exist apart from Indy.

How about a Supercars race at the Indy road course.
Fast by Ferracci Posted - 07 Nov 2019 : 17:16:18
Penske buying pretty much ensures the Indy 500 will start offering guaranteed starting spots for series regulars, rather than the fastest 33 cars making the race

Originally posted by mikeamerica84

His buying out of Hulman & Company ices Tony George, the man who single handedly ruined American open wheel racing with his silver spoon in his mouth birthright and ability to make poor decisions in this area, from calling any shots in the IndyCar or IMS future - w/o Roger's nod.

Everything RP has done business-wise has been a success. IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway just took a HUGE step forward.

And yes, F by F, I never thought of that angle. CART may have prevailed. Instead of the owners running the series though, as in CART, only ONE owner will be running it. A dictatorship, if done properly IS the perfect form of government.

In my opinion Tony forming the IRL was the right move for the Speedway, CART had other priorities at the time mainly focused overseas.

In reality the forming of the IRL in 1996 was just fighting the ship from the original breakaway that formed CART in 1979

A dictatorship does work best, but not when the dictator has a team running in the series he is dictating....
mikeamerica84 Posted - 07 Nov 2019 : 03:10:13
Originally posted by CP

Who owned Champcar in its dying days?

Kalhkoven and Forsythe?

Yes.... and Paul Gentilozzi.

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