One of biggest stories in auto racing this century is now official.
Penske Corporation announced Monday morning that the acquisition of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the NTT IndyCar Series and IMS Productions has been completed.
The sale to Roger Penske’s company had been announced Nov. 4 but took about two months to finalize.
“We are looking forward to carrying on the tradition of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar racing,” Penske said in a statement. “We have been diligently working with the teams at IMS, INDYCAR and IMS Productions over the last two months to ensure a smooth and productive transition and we are ready to hit the ground running.
“Now, it is time to get to work as we continue the growth of the Speedway and we build on the momentum of the NTT IndyCar Series.”
Penske now the fourth owner of famed track
INDYCAR CEO Mark Miles had told NBCSports.com in late December that Jan. 6 was the target date for making it official with Penske, who has toured the IMS property often over the last several weeks and already has begun directing many cleanup and improvement initiatives.
“People call it ‘Penske Perfect,’” Miles said. “This is a massive place, and it’s a venerable place. It’s hard to keep it up to that standard, and we haven’t. But it’s also habits. The way you look at your desk or a storage room or a closet. The day of the announcement, Roger walked around and looked in great detail at everything. I began to see the place differently within an hour. I saw it through Roger’s eyes.
“In a way, it was embarrassing. Under the excuse of budgets and tight money, we had not really been as attentive as we should be taking pride in the place.”
Penske is the fourth owner of the world’s most famous racetrack, where his cars have 18 victories in the famed Indianapolis 500. He has purchased IMS from Hulman and Co., which has owned and managed the track since 1945.
NASCAR will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the 27th annual running of the Brickyard 400 on July 5, which will mark the debut of the race on July 4 weekend.