Tony George folds racing team, dismisses staff

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

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.


  • 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?
    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.

Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I am a Lyft driver who is a licensed CDL professional driver. ALL Lyft drivers take pride in providing quality service to the Indianapolis and surrounding areas, and we take the safety of our passengers and the public seriously.(passengers are required to put seat belts on when they get in our cars) We do go through background checks, driving records are checked as are the personal cars we drive, (these are OUR private cars we use) Unlike taxi cabs and their drivers Lyft (and yes Uber) provide passengers with a clean car inside and out, a friendly and courteous driver, and who is dressed appropriately and is groomed appropriately. I go so far as to offer mints, candy and/or small bottle of water to the my customers. It's a mutual respect between driver and passenger. With Best Regards

  2. to be the big fish in the little pond of IRL midwest racin' when yer up against Racin' Gardner

  3. In the first sentance "As a resident of one of these new Carmel Apartments the issue the local governments need to discuss are build quality & price." need a way to edit

  4. As a resident of one of these new Carmel Apartments the issue the local governments need to discuss is build quality & price. First none of these places is worth $1100 for a one bedroom. Downtown Carmel or Keystone at the Crossing in Indy. It doesn't matter. All require you to get in your car to get just about anywhere you need to go. I'm in one of the Carmel apartments now where after just 2.5 short years one of the kitchen cabinet doors is crooked and lawn and property maintenance seems to be lacking my old Indianapolis apartment which cost $300 less. This is one of the new star apartments. As they keep building throughout the area "deals" will start popping up creating shoppers. If your property is falling apart after year 3 what will it look like after year 5 or 10??? Why would one stay here if they could move to a new Broad Ripple in 2 to 3 years or another part of the Far Northside?? The complexes aren't going to let the "poor" move in without local permission so that's not that problem, but it the occupancy rate drops suddenly because the "Young" people moved back to Indy then look out.

  5. Why are you so concerned about Ace hardware? I don't understand why anyone goes there! Every time ive gone in the past, they don't have what I need and I end up going to the big box stores. I understand the service aspect and that they try to be helpful but if they are going to survive I think they might need to carry more specialty parts.