Penske Entertainment Corp., a subsidiary of the famous Team Penske organisation, has taken ownership of both the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the NTT IndyCar Series as a whole after acquiring the former owners, Hulman & Company.
The move is the latest step in a number of rapid expansions made by Penske in the last few years. After competing in both the NTT IndyCar Series and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for a long while, the team added entries into the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship as well as the Prototype class of the IMSA WeatherTech Endurance Championship with Acura.
Today’s news, however, is massive for both the team, Indianapolis and the IndyCar Series as a whole. Indianapolis has been owned by Hulman & Company since 1945. Today’s acquisition is not the first time that Penske has taken ownership of a racing venue, having taken over the running of Michigan International Speedway 1973. In the meantime, Penske has also made significant investments in other tracks across the United States.
“My passion for racing began at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1951 when I attended the Indianapolis 500 with my father,” said Roger Penske in today’s announcement. “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.”
Mark Miles, the CEO of Hulman & Company, also shared Penske’s excitement following today’s news. He stated that he was looking forward to working with Penske Entertainment Corp. in the following years to help the NTT IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway continue to grow.
“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 Miles.
“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.”
Tony George, the chairman of Hulman & Company, went into further detail as to how the deal that has seen Penske acquire both the NTT IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway came about. George stated that there isn’t anyone “more capable and qualified” for the task than Penske.
“We recently approached Roger Penske and Penske Corporation about this opportunity and began working to put an agreement in place,” said George. “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 organization to lead the sport of IndyCar racing and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway into the future.”
The sale of the NTT IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway by Hulman & Company to Penske Entertainment Corp. is set to be finalised in January following various approvals from other parties; a standard procedure for a transaction such as this.
The 2020 NTT IndyCar Series will kick-off with the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, March 15. The 2020 Indianapolis 500 will take place later on in the season on Sunday, May 24.