Sports

Indianapolis Motor Speedway sold to businessman Roger Penske

Key Points
  • After 74 years of ownership, Hulman & Co. is selling the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to Penske Entertainment Corp.
  • Penske Corp. manages more than $32 billion in assets.
  • Terms of the sale were not immediately made available.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the Indianapolis 500
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For the fourth time in its 110-year history, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be changing owners.

Hulman & Company is selling the race track other assets to Penske Entertainment Corp., owned by businessman Roger Penske. The deal includes the racing circuit, NTT IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Productions.

Parent company Penske Corp., which is privately owned, manages more than $32 billion in assets for businesses operating in more than 3,200 locations with more than 64,000 employees, including Penske Automotive.

Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed but Penske said the transaction will should be finalized by January 2020 following approval from the federal government.

On a conference call Monday morning announcing the deal, Hulman Chairman Tony George said the decision to sell was "emotionally difficult" but added that the Hulman family, who has owned the Speedway since 1945, realized "we probably have taken it as far as we can."

George said he approached Penske at the final race of the season to discuss "stewardship." George then emailed Penske a few times before the discussion shifted to the sale.

"We know we're passing the torch to an individual who has created an organization that is not only dynamic, but its ideally suited, I think, to take over this stewardship," George said. "A cooperation that is family-involved much like ours but with a track record that is without compare."

Penske did not get into specifics but said his corporation would "invest capital" to grow the racing facility, which he labeled a "great asset." Some of the improvements Penske mentioned are making the environment more fan-friendly, possibly adding 24-hour races or a Formula 1 race to help the Speedway.

"We're going to do this a step at a time," Penske said.

Penske noted this isn't the first time he's had a hand in running a racing complex, mentioning the investment in the bankrupt Michigan Speedway in 1973 and the building of the California Speedway, now named the Auto Club Speedway, in 1994.

"This is in our DNA," Penske said. "I think that with input from the media, certainly input from our sponsor partners and all the teams ... we're looking forward to getting together with the car owners to see what we can do to make IndyCar even stronger. That's something that will be a priority for me."