Former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels joins Hulman board

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Former Indiana Republican governor Mitch Daniels, now the president at Purdue University, has become a member of the Board of Directors for Hulman & Co., which oversees INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Daniels served two terms as the Hoosier State’s governor before taking over as Purdue’s 12th president in school history following the end of his term in January of 2013.

“I spent many a Memorial Day weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway growing up in Indianapolis, and there’s no more iconic racing facility in the world,” Daniels said in a statement released by IMS.

“Anything a Hoosier can do to help this priceless state asset, he should do. The connection between Purdue and Hulman & Company is already strong and this new relationship will take us even further.”

Purdue has a heavy involvement in Indiana’s motorsports industry. Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) offers bachelor’s degrees in motorsports engineering, and IMS and Purdue have worked together on multiple initiatives from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education projects to gate entry plans for the Speedway’s major events.

“We’re honored that Mitch has agreed to serve with us during this period of renewed focus on economic development and infrastructure improvement,” said Hulman board member Andre Lacy in his own thoughts.

“We are positioned for growth in our business units like no time in our history, and Mitch’s business acumen and understanding of the heritage of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are tremendous assets.”

Daniels waved the green flag to start the 2012 Indianapolis 500.

March 29 in Motorsports History: Scott Dixon wins first race after reunification

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Reunited and it felt so good.

That’s what drivers likely thought before the 2008 IndyCar opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

For the first time since 1995, major-league open-wheel racing in the United States was under the banner of a sole sanctioning body as Champ Car and the Indy Racing Leauge had reunified just a month prior.

Scott Dixon celebrates after winning the 2008 IndyCar opener at Homestead. Photo: Jim Hines/IndyCar.

The first race after reunification also saw a reversal of fortunes for Scott Dixon, who won the race after losing the 2007 IRL championship in crushing fashion.

In the 2007 season finale at Chicagoland Speedway, Dixon ran out of fuel while leading on the final lap of the race. The race victory – and championship – went to Dixon’s future teammate, Dario Franchitti.

But the tides turned for Dixon nearly seven months later, and the Kiwi was able to win with the help of another driver’s misfortune.

Tony Kanaan was leading with seven laps remaining when E.J. Viso spun and made contact with Kanaan’s car. Kanaan remained on track through the caution period despite suffering obvious damage to his right front suspension.

On the final restart with three laps remaining, Dixon and others cars easily passed Kanaan’s wounded car on the outside. Dixon then maintained his lead through the checkered flag to win at Homestead for the second time in his career.

“I think Marco (Andretti) and T.K. probably had a little bit better cars today, but we came through with the win, and that’s what counts,” Dixon told ESPN after his 12th career victory.

Following his victory at Homestead, Dixon continued to redeem himself through the course of the 2008 season. In May, he won the Indianapolis 500 for the first (and so far only) time. Following Indy, he went on to win four more times in 2008 and won his second series championship.

Also on this date:

1998: Mika Hakkinen won the Grand Prix of Brazil, the first of eight victories in his first championship season.

2010: Will Power won the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which was held on a Monday morning because of rain postponing the race on Sunday.

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