Penske Corporation To Purchase Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indy Car Series

(Press Release from NTT IndyCar Series)

Roger Penske (right) with his Penske Racing Monster Energy NASCAR Cup driver Brad Keselowski (left) (Photo: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images for NASCAR)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Board of Directors of Hulman & Company announced today that it has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Penske Corporation, a global transportation, automotive and motorsports leader. Penske Entertainment Corp., a subsidiary of Penske Corporation, will acquire all Hulman & Company principal operating assets, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the NTT IndyCar Series and IMS Productions. The transaction will close following receipt of applicable government approvals and other standard conditions. 

The acquisition by the Penske organization will carry the future of the legendary Speedway and the IndyCar Series forward for the next generation of racing fans. 

It was the vision of Carl Fisher to build the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) in 1909 and the track hosted its first races later that year. Eddie Rickenbacker later purchased the Speedway in 1927 before selling it to Tony Hulman and Hulman & Company in 1945. IMS has been the host of the world’s largest single-day sporting event – the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race – for more than 100 years. The iconic venue has also hosted NASCAR, Formula One and other racing series events throughout its storied history. The NTT IndyCar Series continues to be the premier open-wheel racing series in North America and is one of the most competitive championships in the world. IMS Productions is a leading video services and production company. 

“We recently approached Roger Penske and Penske Corporation about this opportunity and began working to put an agreement in place,” said Tony George, Chairman of Hulman & Company. “The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been the centerpiece 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 honored 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.”  

Penske Corporation has a rich history of managing major motorsports properties, beginning with the acquisition of Michigan International Speedway in 1973. Over the course of its history, Penske and its subsidiaries have also operated the Grand Prix of Cleveland, Nazareth Speedway and California Speedway, along with investments in North Carolina Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. Penske Corporation currently promotes and operates the Detroit Grand Prix, hosted annually at the Belle Isle Park street circuit.

“My passion for racing began at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1951 when I attended the Indianapolis 500 with my father,” said Roger Penske, whose race team celebrated its 50th anniversary of first competing at IMS this year. “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 honor for Penske Corporation to help lead these great institutions forward into a new era.”

“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 Mark Miles, President and CEO of Hulman & Company. “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.”   

Hulman & Company’s financial adviser was Allen & Company LLC, and its counsel was Ice Miller LLP for this transaction.

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  1. I hope this is good news.

    It is relieving to see the Indy cars doing well… again. That means car counts and the cars are emblazoned with sponsors. It was pretty scary for a long time with bare cars.

    The crowds are coming back too. This is an incredible tradition making a great comeback.

  2. While anybody has the right to do what they want, I have to ask you dareal, why does an 82 year old man make that kind of monetary investment?
    Is this all about legacy? Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great someone steps up to preserve the sport, from someone ready to sell. I’m just having a hard time getting the logic of Penske buying it (due to age).
    But it certainly is his right.

  3. Bob, Roger Penske didn’t buy it personally, some Penske business did. The corporation does not care how old Roger is. He has several kids and grandkids, one way or another, they are or will be taking over the Penske enterprise. His kids have Indy car teams, etc. It’s more of a family thing than just him.

  4. Fast Eddie says

    Bob, I would guess it’s a matter of preserving the history and making sure the traditions continue. Not to mention he’s one of, if not the, most successful Indy Car owners ever. He’s been running cars at Indy for over 50 years. When it all comes down to it, he’s a racer and wants to insure its survival. Thank-you Mr. Penske!!

  5. Thx guys, good points, makes sense now to me.

  6. This is great news for Indy car teams. Penske Corp. has allot of smart people in their Motorsports divisions who will assure that the Indy cars are here for the foreseeable future. Wonder if he’ll have to stop Fielding Indy cars now that he owns the series, seems like a conflict of interest

  7. “Penske Corporation manages businesses with consolidated revenues of more than $32 billion, operating in over 3,660 locations and employing more than 64,000 people worldwide.”

    Who knows what legal differentiation the track will have. Suffice it to say Penske is a huge private company with the resources to easily absorb the track and associated businesses. They may be the strongest business entity ever to own the track with the most experience from a management standpoint having owned tracks before.
    On old racer living the dream and over his head this is not.
    Penske himself we know for racing. He’s as good or better businessman regardless of his age. A serious, massively intelligent guy respected universally in Michigan at one time being encouraged to run for Senate.
    This is a slam dunk on every level and his age considering his organization is irrelevant.

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