He practically owns the race, now he owns the track.
Roger Penske’s Penske Entertainment Corp. has purchased the Indianapolis Motor Speedway where his racing team has won the Indy 500 a record 18 times. The deal also includes ownership of the IndyCar series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway productions. The price of the transaction has not been revealed.
The track has been owned and run by the same family since Tony Hulman purchased the deteriorated track in 1945. Hulman’s daughter Mari Hulman-George, who for two decades gave the “start your engines” command before the Indy 500, died last year as Chairman Emeritus at age 83.
"We as a family agreed we all needed to have a conversation with Roger Penske," Hulman-George's son Tony said at a press conference announcing the sale.
"I simply said I'd like to meet with him and talk about stewardship and he got a very serious look on his face. It's obviously emotionally difficult. We all love it and we all care deeply. We all realize that as a family and organization we had probably taken it as far as we can. Roger Penske's resources will only take this to another level."
Penske is the two-time defending champion of the Indy 500 and in October was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Trump, who honored his contributions to sport, business and philanthropy. He said he would step down as the team strategist to concentrate on running the track and series and will explore adding new events to the track's IndyCar and NASCAR races, including a possible 24-hour race.
The track was built in 1909 and held the first Indy 500 race in 1911.
The Associated Press contributed to this report