• Jun 30, 2009
It's the end of an era for open-wheel racing in America as Indy chief Tony George has stepped down from his post. The long-time president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, George was widely seen as the impetus for the 1996 split in Indy racing that created the Indy Racing League (IRL) and the rival Champ Car series (formerly known as CART), but he was also instrumental in fostering the merger of the two championships into the new IndyCar Series over which he's presided.

During his nearly two-decade tenure as the head of the famous race track, George also brought NASCAR, Formula One and MotoGP to the speedway for the first time, vastly expanding the calendar of events at the iconic venue. However, elements within the Hulman-George company that controls the business were concerned with the amount of resources their chief executive put into the reintegrated IndyCar Series and recently asked him to reorganize the company, but Tony evidently decided to step down instead. He'll be focusing his energies on the Vision Racing team which he fields in the series, while the job he vacates will be split into two: CFO Jeffrey G Belskus will take the reins at the speedway, while chief legal counsel W Curtis Brighton will oversee the operation of the series.

[Source: Autosport | Image: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      their is supposed to be there.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Here's the thing: The IRL is owned by the Hulman-George family, so Tony has gotten to stay in his undeserved place for the past 19 years because Mommy's money covered the losses.

      Now that Mommy's tired of cleaning up Little Tony's messes, he gets to do things that "he and his family" (this from the HULMAN FAMILY'S OWN official PR release) want to do.

      Can you say, "CUT OFF?"
      • 5 Years Ago
      This guy is a bigger idiot than Max Mosley, and that says a lot. Both have done horrible damage to open wheel racing. Hopefully soon they will both be gone and recovery can begin.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Now if we could only figure out how to make Max Mosley do the same....
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hopefully the IRL will just be killed off and the Speedway bulldozed over and replaced with some nice houses arranged around the golf course. Both the IRL and the Indy 500 died long ago and their is no use keeping either on life support.
        • 5 Years Ago
        God how can you say that!? It's obvious you've never been to the race, or even the racetrack.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think this has come too late. Not only is the damage done (by TG himself), but if the guy who put the Indianapolis Motor Speedway first and foremost is gone then it means no more money will go into the speedway. His successors will probably make sure of that.

      In a series that is hemmoraging money, sponsors, fanbase, TV ratings, and "name drivers", this can only come as bad news. The last standing pillar in US open wheel racing will begin to crack, if not collapse altogether...
        • 5 Years Ago
        What took so long? This idiot should have been made to walk the plank years ago, IMHO...
      • 5 Years Ago
      good. tony george single handedly destroyed US open wheel racing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm on the "don't let the door hit you..." side of this. He destroyed open wheel racing and deprived us from seeing the last full "class" of well known, talented drivers racing each other in the 500. Anyone else remember all of the horrible driving and cringe worthy accidents of the IRL's first years? That, coupled with the known drivers having to "defect" to run in the IRL for just the 500 sent all casual and 500 only fans packing.