Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the IndyCar Series were sold to Penske Entertainment Corp. in a stunning move by the Hulman family Monday that relinquishes its control of the iconic speedway after 74 years.
Tony Hulman bought the dilapidated speedway in 1945 and brought racing back to the corner of 16th Street and Georgetown Avenue after a four-year absence following World War II. Roger Penske will become just the fourth owner of the 110-year-old speedway.
The speedway spun off multiple subsidiaries, including the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Productions, which are also part of the deal with Penske Entertainment. That group is a subsidiary of Penske Corp., which is owned by billionaire Roger Penske.
The IndyCar Series is on an upward trend with improved television ratings and increased interest. Penske is the winningest team owner in Indianapolis 500 history with 18 victories, including Simon Pagenaud’s win in May. He capped the IndyCar Season with a championship from driver Josef Newgarden, the 15th for the Team Penske organization.
The speedway is to discuss the deal in a news conference Monday. The sale is expected to close in early January, according to a document of message points sent to IndyCar teams on Monday, a copy of which was obtained by the Associated Press.
“We have found the ideal steward of the company and its iconic assets,” the document states. “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 document states Penske Corp. approached the Hulman board in the fall about the purchase.