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.
Racing is an inherently dangerous sport.
The Racing Safety United (RSU) alliance aims to reduce some of that risk with the formation of a multi-discipline advocacy group that includes all major stakeholders of the sport: sanctioning bodies, drivers, track owners and equipment manufacturers – just to name a few of the many businesses that impact a driver’s welfare once they strap into the seat of a racecar.
Originally spearheaded by sports car driver RJ Valentine, the alliance initially intends to focus on track safety. Because expenses can be razor thin for short tracks, a financial aid program is in the works to help with safety upgrades.
“As a racer, I’ve witnessed a lot of horrible crashes and it always astounds me that, for the most part, the motorsports community continues to accept it, including drivers,” Valentine said in a press release. “Because safety improvement adoption is slow, I realized we need support from constituents in all sectors of motorsports to make any real changes happen.
“Initially, track safety is one of RSU’s top priorities, mainly because it receives the least amount of attention. However, we intend to address all safety areas from helmets to driver education.”
RSU’s first official meeting is scheduled on December 6th during the PRI Show to discuss and prioritize safety initiatives.
The RSU is currently made up of 30 members including former NASCAR driver Jerry Nadeau, NHRA team owner Don Schumacher, Flying Lizard owner Darren Law, Randy Lajoie – owner of The Joie of Seating, sportscar driver Andrew Pilgrim and journalist Dick Berggren.
More information can be found on the RSU site.