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