In a remarkable return to power, Tony George is now chairman of the family business that owns and operates the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. At a board meeting in March, George was named chairman of Terre Haute-based Hulman and Co., succeeding his mother, Mari Hulman George, who was named chairman emeritus.
George, who brought NASCAR to IMS in 1994, gave the command to start engines for the 23rd edition of the Brickyard 400 Sunday and was introduced as chairman, the first public pronouncement of the move, which was confirmed for Inside INdiana Business by an IMS communications executive.
George led IMS as president and later chief executive officer from 1989-2009.
During his tenure he invested heavily in signature improvements at the historic venue, including construction of the new pagoda, media center and suites and a 2.6 mile road course, which brought Formula One racing back to the United States. F1’s United States Grand Prix ran at IMS from 2000-2007.
He also founded the Indy Racing League, now the Verizon IndyCar Series, which marked a contentious and difficult period for open wheel racing.
George was forced out of his leadership position at IMS in 2009 and resigned from the board of directors in 2010.
He returned to an expanded board in 2013, that now includes more outside directors than family members. In addition to his mother and sisters Nancy George, Josie George and Kathi George-Conforti, the board includes Jack Snyder, Mitch Daniels, Andre Lacy, Jim Morris, John Akerman, Mike Smith and Hulman and Co. CEO Mark Miles.