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Tony George folds racing team, dismisses staff

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Unable to raise enough sponsorship money, Vision Racing announced this morning that it will be shuttering its entire operation.

The team owned by former Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indy Racing League CEO Tony George ran two cars in the series last year; one full-time and one part-time.

The closure completes the stunning fall for George, who now appears to be completely out of open-wheel racing. Racing sources said George was cut off from using funds from the Hulman-George companies to fund the team last year, and couldn’t come up with the $1.5 million to $3 million in sponsorship cash needed to run the team this year.

Vision Racing was owned by George, his wife, Laura, and actor Patrick Dempsey. The team’s primary car was piloted by George’s step-son Ed Carpenter.

In addition to taking George completely out of open-wheel racing, the closure is another dagger for the Indy Racing League, which is struggling to put 20 cars on the track this year. There is also doubt that there will be 33 cars ready to qualify for Indianapolis in May.

Sources close to the team said Tony George met with the staff of 16 this morning, and in an emotional address informed them that they were all being let go.
 

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  • Loving every minute of it
    I had a grate day today! Hearing Vision Racing was closing only made it better. Where is Indy place fan Man now to defend his leader?
  • Un Punto (bRAZILLIANAIRE tRANSLATION)
    From ESPN's Terry Blount 1/28/10:

    "Not everyone agrees, including Indy car legend Mario Andretti. "Tony's legacy is not a very good one from my standpoint," Andretti said Thursday. "His grandfather, Tony Hulman, did more for open-wheel racing than any other individual. Tony George did more to destroy it than any other individual. "That's the only way you can put it. It is diminished today because he started the IRL."
  • Toldja
    Please. Tony's folly is finally over. Thank God. but at what expense? IMS is in hot water, and things are getting worse, not better. Too bad for the citizens of Indy, tony bled the thing dry in a fit of trust fund fueled search for relevance. We told you he was in over his head, now look.

    I hear IMS is looking for buyers...
  • Sad Day for Indy
    Not sure we will ever know what is really going on here, but if the Indy 500 as an event and as an Indiana tradition is at risk, this could have far reaching ramifications.
  • Clueless Packrat
    If Packrat was really sorry, he would open his bank account so TOney could pilfer IT.
  • End of a Vision
    Such a shame...a local team with a local driver...no more...family infighting could now spell the doom of the series with the former leader gone...Only the mostly strong teams are left with Sarah Fisher still fighting as a local small team...always good luck to her and hopes that the IRL or some symblance of it will survive.
  • Too bad Tim couldn't help
    Man oh man, where is Tim Durham to help Tony?
  • iman's issues
    congratulations indyman. your support of TOneys 15 year war on open wheel racing is bearing fruit.
  • Looks like the cows have come home to roost
    Oh, how the mighty have fallen. If the IRL (Mr. George's creation) was to create an affordable series where the regular racing could have a chance...well, looks like that is out the window too. Apparently the IRL's VISION is nothing but a paper house in a hurricane. Such a sad shame as this sport was at it's highest BEFORE the IRL was created. Seems like a very poor business decision 14 years later.....

    Condolences to Vision Racing staff and families.

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