Tony George Dismisses Reports He's Out At Indianapolis Motor Speedway
After multiple news outlets ran reports (which FanHouse covered) that George may have been voted out, George and his mother Mari Hulman George released a statement Wednesday confirming that there was a Board of Directors meeting Tuesday night, but denying reports that George was voted out as Chairman of the famous 100-year-old Speedway.
"Contrary to published reports, I continue to serve as CEO of IMS," George said in the statement. "Our board of directors met yesterday and we did discuss how to best confront challenges and exploit opportunities facing our businesses. This is nothing new and is something that we continually do as a board.
"But no changes in leadership or responsibility have been made. We don't normally comment on board deliberations concerning our family business. However, the widespread inaccurate reports and rumors caused my mother and me to conclude that it was necessary to set the record straight.
"If changes are made in the management of the company that are newsworthy, we will announce them when they are made,'' George said.
George has served as chairman for the last 20 years and became a polarizing and controversial figure in motor sports when he formed the Indy Racing League in 1996 as an alternative to the established Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) series. The big name drivers and teams called George's bluff and stayed in CART even though that meant missing out on George's ultimate trump card, the Indianapolis 500.
Under George's leadership, however, the two series (CART eventually became Champ Car) unified last year, but many race fans feel the "open wheel split" caused severe damage to the genre, to the prestige of the Indy 500 and instead helped NASCAR grow exponentially in popularity during the the last decade.
In the issued statement, Mari Hulman George said the meeting involved prioritizing the needs of the family businesses, which include Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indy Racing League, Hulman & Company and Clabber Girl products.
"All our properties are doing well, given the challenges of the current economy,'' Hulman-George said. "The Indy Racing League represents our greatest growth opportunity and therefore deserves the most attention at this point."