Roger Penske given support and adulation from Motorsport community
On Monday it was announced the recently formed Penske Entertainment Corporation - a subsidiary of the Penske Corporation - had purchased the NTT IndyCar Series, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IMS Productions from Hulman and Company.
The 82-year old moved quickly to speak about his intentions by outlining potential plans in expanding the uses of the IMS facility, looking into bringing Formula 1 back to the area as well as introducing more fan zones, endurance racing and lighting facilities.
There were also fears his acquisition of IndyCar could jeopardise the integrity of the championship by owning a team which would compete in a series it owns, Penske settled those fears by sharing the likely structure to ensure parity.
Since the announcement, adulation has come in from important figures across the IndyCar Series and further afield, including fellow team bosses and drivers.
MICHAEL ANDRETTI (Owner, Andretti Autosport): "I think it's positive news. Roger has always strived to do great things for both IMS and INDYCAR racing, and I'm sure he will continue to do so in this new ownership position. Both the Indy 500 and NTT IndyCar Series have been on a rise, and I look forward to the continued climb."
ZAK BROWN (CEO, McLaren Racing): "I cannot think of a better owner than Roger Penske and his corporation to ensure the growth and future of INDYCAR. His business acumen and dedication to the sport and passion for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are second to none. This is a landmark announcement that delivers confidence in a bright future for INDYCAR."
CHIP GANASSI (Owner, Chip Ganassi Racing): "This is great news for the industry. The news will provide a shot in the arm to both the sport of auto racing and specifically to the IndyCar Series. Roger is a good friend and a class act, and all of his businesses are run well and with integrity. I couldn't be happier for all of us that are involved with the sport."
BOBBY RAHAL (Co-owner, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing): "Roger Penske's commitment to the sport we love is over six decades long, and I am confident that his stewardship of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the IndyCar Series will ensure a great future for the sport. His many successful business ventures underline the fact that he is the perfect custodian of one of the most historic venues in the world and is the perfect architect to build the foundation for the next 100-plus years of the sport. We look forward to working with Roger in order to make the IndyCar Series and the Indy 500 the best it's ever been."
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (NTT IndyCar Series driver, Team Penske, 2017 and 2019 NTT IndyCar Series champion): "What the Hulman-George family has been able to accomplish and do, and the amount of interest they brought to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis 500 and the IndyCar Series is something that we will all forever be grateful for. The love and passion they've had for our sport over the years is evident and a reason we are where we are today. The future of the sport is bright with Roger Penske and everyone with Penske Corporation behind it. Getting to work with Roger over the last few years, you see the desire that has always set him apart, as evident by what he's done in the business work. The amount of respect and confidence he has for the people who work with him is unparalleled. You've seen that already with the amount of integrity that has been shown from his peers - from other drivers and owners - who are excited for the future under his leadership. Today is a big day for open-wheel racing, and I think we all have to be excited about what's to come."
SIMON PAGENAUD (NTT IndyCar Series driver, Team Penske, 2019 Indianapolis 500 winner, 2016 NTT IndyCar Series champion): "The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is such a historical place. It hosts the fastest and one of the oldest car races in the world. Beyond that, it is a place where passion starts for kids and families to experience an incredible event together. What the Hulman-George family has done with the Speedway is phenomenal. They have created a legend, and I can say that on a personal level IMS and INDYCAR have both changed my life. Walking into IMS gives you chills, and I'm very excited to see what the future holds. Roger Penske knows so much about IMS, and his passion for the Indianapolis 500 is unmatched. It is very exciting to think about how the Penske Corporation will grow the sport, and I can't wait to see how things develop going forward. IMS and INDYCAR are in great hands, and it makes me feel extremely positive about the future."
GRAHAM RAHAL (NTT IndyCar Series driver, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing): "I can't help but think that our series and IMS are in great hands. If you know anything about Mr. Penske, it's that he holds his work to the highest of standards. I have no doubts that we will see INDYCAR and the Indy 500 rise to new heights."
CURTIS FRANCOIS (Owner and CEO, World Wide Technology Raceway): "Roger Penske and his management team have been tremendous supporters of our efforts to improve our facility and grow motorsports at World Wide Technology Raceway. Roger is a respected visionary and has been a significant part of the past, present and now future of INDYCAR racing. Our team looks forward to working with Mr. Penske and the entire Penske Entertainment organization as we plan for the future. We also want to thank everyone at Hulman & Company for believing in us and providing St. Louis with the opportunity to host the greatest Saturday night event of the season."
NASCAR statement from Jim France on Hulman & Company Sale to Penske Corporation. pic.twitter.com/qjxrjDKm9r— NASCAR (@NASCAR) November 4, 2019
I realize I’m still kinda the new guy in all this...but have to say big thanks to the Hulman-George family for creating/supporting this sport we all love. And congratulations to Penske Corp...looking forward to the future. IndyCar is the one to watch, people.— Alexander Rossi (@AlexanderRossi) November 5, 2019
Big news today re @IMS @IndyCar . I want to thank the Hulman-George family for everything they’ve done over the years, creating something unique that’s loved by so many. For the future of the sport I couldn’t think of anyone better then Roger Penske and his organisation to lead.— Marcus Ericsson (@Ericsson_Marcus) November 5, 2019
Great (and slightly shocking) news that Roger Penske & Penske Corp bought @IMS & @IndyCar ,RP’s passion for Indycar & the 500 plus his business acumen make this a huge win. As all the drivers say at the 500 prize giving, thanks to the Hulman George family for their stewardship. pic.twitter.com/6GN76nk9Sx— Dario Franchitti (@dariofranchitti) November 4, 2019
Now moving forward we’ve all witnessed the passion, professionalism and the execution of Roger Penske in every aspect of his career and I’m certain he will carry this over @IMS and @Indycar exciting times for our sport.— Arie Luyendyk (@ArieLuyendyk) November 5, 2019
Wow. The Captain is taking over the reigns of the ship. No one better to lead @IndyCar & @IMS into the future. With that said, we all owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Hulman-George Family who have made the Indy 500 the greatest race in the world. IMS- unparalleled worldwide.— Ryan Hunter-Reay (@RyanHunterReay) November 4, 2019
.@IMS has meant so much to me & my career over the years. Thank you to the Hulman-George family for their contributions to @NASCAR & the growth of motorsports overall. All the best to the “Captain” & the entire Penske organization after hearing today’s news. pic.twitter.com/QgWqwBMuP8— Jeff Gordon (@JeffGordonWeb) November 4, 2019
To the Hulman-George family, thank you for taking such great care of such a special place for so long! 🖤🤍🏁— Ed Carpenter Racing (@ECRIndy) November 4, 2019
We are excited for the continued growth and success of both @IMS & @IndyCar under Penske Corporation. pic.twitter.com/n3lTtwLNX8
Thank you to the Human-George Family for your 74 year stewardship of this hallowed ground. I am in awe of it every time I drive through the tunnel. I appreciate your dedication, and am excited to see the future of @IMS under the leadership of the great Roger Penske 📸: @IndyCar pic.twitter.com/OaAkr7Sas6— Charlie Kimball (@charliekimball) November 4, 2019
I can’t think of a better steward for the future of @IMS and @IndyCar.— Pippa Mann (@PippaMann) November 4, 2019
Working hard and hoping to find my back for the 2020 #Indy500 under #RogerPenske’s series and venue ownership. ✊🏻 #IndyCar #MissionMonday pic.twitter.com/3gmCgMSgJJ