INDIANAPOLIS – The big announcement that Roger Penske and his Penske Corporation will take over not just the Indianapolis Motor Speedway but the NTT IndyCar Series on Monday was met with high regard. I get the IMS thing, but how would this new be received in the paddock when an existing team owns the series outright?
Could this be a conflict of interest? Luckily, the teams are on board. They’re saying the right things at least.
“I think it’s positive news,” said Michael Andretti. “Roger has always strived to do great things for both IMS and INDYCAR racing, and I’m sure he will continue to do so in this new ownership position. Both the Indy 500 and NTT IndyCar Series have been on a rise, and I look forward to the continued climb.”
Fellow rival Chip Ganassi agrees.
“This is great news for the industry,” Ganassi said of the announcement. “The news will provide a shot in the arm to both the sport of auto racing and specifically to the IndyCar Series. Roger is a good friend and a class act, and all of his businesses are run well and with integrity. I couldn’t be happier for all of us that are involved with the sport.”
Same goes for McLaren and Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan Racing.
“I cannot think of a better owner than Roger Penske and his corporation to ensure the growth and future of INDYCAR,” Zak Brown said. “His business acumen and dedication to the sport and passion for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are second to none. This is a landmark announcement that delivers confidence in a bright future for INDYCAR.”
Rahal echoes everyone else’s sentiments.
“Roger Penske’s commitment to the sport we love is over six decades long, and I am confident that his stewardship of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the IndyCar Series will ensure a great future for the sport. His many successful business ventures underline the fact that he is the perfect custodian of one of the most historic venues in the world and is the perfect architect to build the foundation for the next 100-plus years of the sport. We look forward to working with Roger in order to make the IndyCar Series and the Indy 500 the best it’s ever been.”
Even members of Indiana legislature noted how significant this announcement is.
ERIC HOLCOMB (Governor, State of Indiana): “The biggest single-day sporting event on planet Earth is about to get even bigger and better. I couldn’t be more excited about the future of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with ‘The Captain’ Roger Penske at the helm. Mr. Penske’s vision, team and high expectations will ensure Indiana’s most iconic asset continues to grow. Along with INDYCAR, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway forms the core of an entire racing industry that employs thousands of people and pumps hundreds of millions of dollars into our economy. As a racing fan, my excitement is only equaled by my appreciation for the longtime Hulman-George commitment to the past and future of the sport of racing and to our great state.”
JOE HOGSETT (Mayor, City of Indianapolis): “Today marks the start of a new chapter for the city of Indianapolis, as the torch is passed from the Hulman-George family to another leader who shares a passion for the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the legacy of INDYCAR. For decades, Hulman & Company has overseen one of Indianapolis’ greatest assets, acting as community partners and stewards of our state’s most prized tradition. Residents across the city and around the globe all have stories of the wonder of IMS, thanks to the dedication of the Hulman-George family. I know Roger Penske and the Penske Corporation will continue this legacy, acting as ambassadors for Indianapolis and presiding over another century of progress, innovation and sporting excellence at the world’s greatest racetrack.”