Wednesday, May 27, 2009
SPEEDtv.com reported it and almost immediately ESPN.com got Tony George to deny it. Then, Sports Illustrated confirmed it again and George went on-camera to deny it again. The battle for motorsports credibility is underway as this story continues to unfold.
Click here for Miller's original story about George being removed as the Indy Speedway CEO for spending too much money. His family was actually at the center of this issue.
Already the talk is about who would replace him and what kind of person the facility really needs to get the positive feelings back for this great speedway. One name already being tossed around is Humpy Wheeler.
His connections run deep to all kinds of racing series. He was a great promoter for Bruton Smith for decades and still has plenty of ideas about how to make motorsports better for the fans. George just suffered through a lackluster Indy 500 after losing the Formula-1 race and continuing to have a tire debacle with NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series.
We will keep an eye on how this story unfolds in the media today. It certainly should be an item for host Nicole Manske on NASCAR Now at 6:30PM. Manske was just at the Indy 500, as her fiance Ryan Briscoe is a driver in the IRL Series.
George and family deny report: USA Today
Tony George is out at IMS: AOL FanHouse
Tony George out and announcement Wednesday of new CEO: Bruce Martin at SI.com
George denies ouster with video attached: WISH-TV Indy
Updated - Here is the new press release from IMS about the issue:
At a regular meeting of the board of directors of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday, May 26, board members asked Tony George, chief executive officer of the IMS companies, to devise a plan for management of Hulman & Company, the Indy Racing League, Clabber Girl and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that would allow him to focus on the business which requires the greatest attention. This plan is to be presented to the board at a meeting later this year.
IMS Chairman of the Board Mari Hulman George said: “There was a general discussion about the challenges and opportunities facing all of our companies and where most of our energies need to be spent. All of our properties are doing well, given the challenges of the current economy. The Indy Racing League represents our greatest growth opportunity and therefore deserves the most attention at this point.”
Tony George said: “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. We don’t normally comment on board deliberations concerning our family business. However, the widespread, inaccurate reports and rumors caused my mother and me to conclude that it was necessary to set the record straight. If changes are made in the management of the company that are newsworthy, we will announce them when they are made.”
So, maybe Robin Miller and Bruce Martin have some explaining to do. Click here for a live link to WNDE-AM in Indy. Live talk on this issue right now and Robin Miller supposed to be on around 4PM.
We welcome your comments as this story unfolds. The Brickyard 400 is one of the biggest NASCAR races. It starts the ESPN/ABC coverage and is the final stretch to the Chase for the Championship.
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