Win on Sunday, Buy on Monday? Roger Penske to Purchase IndyCar, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
win on sunday buy on monday roger penske to purchase indycar indianapolis motor

Okay, that’s a NASCAR line, but it applies here.

Roger Penske never ran the Indianapolis 500 during his racing career, but as owner of Team Penske, his drivers racked up 18 victories on the famed banked oval. Now, it appears the 82-year-old Penske will soon call the track his own.

Monday morning brought news that Penske will announce the purchase of both the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the IndyCar series from Hulman & Co.

According to documents seen by The Associated Press, Penske hopes to close the sale in early January, wrestling control of the speedway away from Hulman & Co. after 74 years of ownership. A news conference scheduled for this morning is expected will announce Penske Entertainment, a subsidiary of Penske Corp., as the buyer.

A document sent out to IndyCar teams Monday morning states, “We have found the ideal steward of the company and its iconic assets. Penske Corporation — with its 64,000-plus employees and more than $32 billion in consolidated revenue — will bring tremendous energy, leadership and resources to IMS, IndyCar and IMSP.

“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. Ultimately, it was decided to focus on the possible sale of the company and finding a buyer that would be the best steward of the company and its iconic assets.”

The news comes almost exactly a year after Mari Hulman George, daughter of Anton “Tony” Hulman Jr., who bought the track in 1945, died at the age of 83. She served as Hulman & Co, chairperson and chaired the speedway from 1988 to 2016.

At least according to Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren, having Penske Entertainment’s hand on the IndyCar tiller could further stimulate a rising interest in open-wheel racing.

“I cannot think of a better owner than Roger Penske and his corporation to ensure the future and growth of IndyCar,” he told AP. “His business acumen and dedication to IndyCar racing and passion for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is second to none.”

In September, NBC reported IndyCar viewership was up 10 percent over the previous year.

[Image: Team Penske]

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  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Nov 05, 2019

    Mainstream automotive manufacturer: "We bring racing technology to all of our vehicles." Prospective customer: "Sounds great!" Manufacturer-sponsored racing team engine technician: "We rebuild the engine after every major event." Prospective customer: "Ummmmmmmm..."

  • ToddAtlasF1 ToddAtlasF1 on Nov 05, 2019

    Roger Penske can finally finish doing for Indycar what he did for Trans Am and Can Am racing.

  • VoGhost So, it's a slow, expensive, cramped Plaid with less range?
  • Dukeisduke Why the hell doesn't Farley just resign? Why hasn't Bill Ford fired him? I lay all this at Farley's feet.
  • Dukeisduke I tried watching the livestream (I'm a MT+ subscriber), but after 15 minutes of jawing by the presenters, I got bored and turned it off. I may watch it this weekend, when I can fast forward through that stuff, to get to the reveal.
  • Dukeisduke Electric power steering, I assume. First-gen Chevy Cruzes can suffer from similar issues, usually traceable to a flaky battery negative cable, a $10 OEM part. Weird, huh?
  • Kwik_Shift Once 15 Minute Cities start to be rolled out, you won't be far enough away from home to worry about range anxiety.