Tony George still in charge as rumors of ouster swirl
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Board of Directors has asked CEO
IMS Chairman of the Board
Rumors have been persistent for the past month that a power struggle involving George and his three sisters was taking place. The IMS board of directors includes George's mother, his sisters
Reacting to initial reports by SI.com and SpeedTV.com that he had already been ousted, George responded by saying, "Contrary to published reports, I continue to serve as CEO of IMS. Our board of directors met yesterday, and we did discuss how to best confront challenges and exploit opportunities facing our businesses. This is nothing new and is something that we continually do as a board. But no changes in leadership or responsibility have been made."
George began the Indy Racing League in 1994, which began competition in 1996 starting a bitter open-wheel racing civil war. At that time, teams from CART comprised most of the lineup of the Indianapolis 500, but with the advent of the IRL, those teams boycotted the world's biggest auto race.
But with last year's financial collapse, George's sisters expressed concern that he had spent much of the family fortune on propping up the IndyCar Series as well as on dramatic changes to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to accommodate an ill-fated alliance with Formula One.
George had turned the day-to-day controls of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway over to
The IRL is run by
But it was George who finally helped end the open-wheel racing war when he reached an agreement with
George was named president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in January 1990. He attempted to buy CART in 1991 but was quickly turned down by the rival car owners.
George also broke with tradition by bringing NASCAR to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the Inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994. He brought Formula One to the track with the United States Grand Prix in 2000.