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Boles named Speedway president, faces major challenges

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The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced Tuesday morning that Doug Boles has been promoted to president of the fabled auto racing track.
 
Boles now "is responsible for the daily operations and maintenance of the facility, including our three major racing events, the Indianapolis 500, Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard and Red Bull Indianapolis GP,” Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles said in a statement. “He’ll also oversee exploring other business opportunities for the Speedway.”

The Speedway's new president faces a number of big challenges, most notably saving the MotoGP race and bolstering the Brickyard 400 NASCAR race. The MotoGP and Brickyard 400 have major attendance issues to overcome. Track officials have considered discontinuing the annual MotoGP motorcycle race if its attendance cannot be improved.

Boles, 46, served previously as chief operating officer for IMS, and replaces Jeff Belskus as president. Belskus will serve as president and chief financial officer of Hulman & Co., the Terre Haute-based firm that owns the Speedway and IndyCar Series.

The moves are part of a front-office restructuring that began in December when Mark Miles became CEO of Hulman & Co.

Miles also recently named Derrick Walker as president of competition of the IndyCar Series. Miles hopes to name a president for the series' commercial side later this year.

A Butler University graduate, Boles was a founding partner of Panther Racing, one of the IndyCar Series’ most successful teams, and served as a co-owner and team chief operating officer from 1997 until early 2006.

Before coming to the IMS in late 2010, Boles worked for i3 Worldwide, representing various motorsports-related sponsors including Coca-Cola, while also operating his own private law firm, primarily representing drivers, race teams and sponsors.

In January, Boles was promoted to chief operating office for IMS. He had previously served as vice president of communications and media relations.

Boles also brings civic experience to the Speedway, having served as director of governmental and corporate affairs for Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith from 1992 to 1997. In that position, he spearheaded one of the nation’s first government-led efforts to lure motorsports companies and jobs to a region.
 

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  • Belskus
    He's the problem? Why don't they fire him? Oh, I forgot, IMS doesn't really fire anyone. So, old Jeffy Belskus must be doing the bidding of the Board of Directors. Hmmm, who is majority seat holders on that board? How could they let the golden jewel get so deteriorated? Seems it still had lustre during the 100th anniversary. Who is ultimately responsible? And why aren't they being held responsible?
  • Asked and Answered
    Uh, Chief....your repetitive nonsense questions have already been answered multiple times, most recently in the blog thread comment section about the physical condition of IMS. If you are able to read you might want to refer to it.
  • I ask one simple question
    How did this "speedway" get in this condition? Who are it's stewards and why haven't they taken care of it? And an even greater question for any actual adult...IMS has know about ADA compliance for over 10 years. Why did they wait so long to declare the need to "Save our Track"? This clearly has been going on for FAR longer than Belskus' short interim reign at Hulman Racing headquarters.
  • Save our Speedway
    Save our speedway refers to keeping the world’s greatest race course from becoming just another track by renovating and updating the 100+ year old facility to make it the finest in the world. To anyone who is a true advocate of open wheel racing, this would be a top priority to them, because without IMS, the 500, and yes, the Hulman family, there would be no open wheel racing in the future. If Indycar and IMS closed their doors tomorrow, as some on this blog for years have hoped for, open wheel racing would cease to exist. Who would start a new series, the car owners. They already tried that twice…and failed. No new series would survive because everyone knows sponsors want to be at Indy. No sponsors = no money = no series. So anyone who claims to be an advocate of open wheel racing (Chief, to name one) should be leading the cheers for a healthy and vibrant IMS and Indycar series…unless that person’s true motivation is a personal grudge against the Hulman family for ruining their beloved CART/ChampCar. In which case, any future comments relating to this issue can’t be taken seriously.
  • I hear cries of "Save our Speedway"
    Lot's of whimpering from Dispicable. Save our speedway from what exactly? Can an actual adult oreiented in this century and decade please explain?
  • Rational Thought
    Not in our lifetimes.
  • Who cares?
    I frankly couldn't care less if the Speedway EVER sparkles again. I advocate for the sport of AOW and it's going in the crapper with it's ownership...the speedway and all. It's all been neglected for a LONG LONG time and you and all your Indy-man buddies let it happen. I hope they place a 25% property tax on all of you so you can really feel what it's like to be indentured to the Speedway rust. It's a darn shame the poor ghettos of Speedway surround the track...they should be getting the money being wasted on this loser of an organization. How long before this 100+ year icon that magically disintegrated overnight (apparently not on the Hulman watch BTW) is pawned off for pennies at the next Speedway city auction?
  • Klarification for Kids
    Occasionally kids must pay attention in their classes should they want to advance in society. Unfortunately the quaint children of the cart that squat here have clearly not accomplished that. Chief, as an actual adult racing fan I visit tracks all over the world. Domestically Barber now sets the bar for what museums and groundskeeping should be. Although IMS needs work it is 104 years old. Most people that age are dead long before then. My criticisms should never be foolishly misinterpreted or twisted to conform to some whacko doomsday scenario, because that simply won't happen in our lifetimes. I just need them to care enough about the place to make it sparkle.
  • I was told
    I was told by the Dipsicle of Indycar routinely year after year on this IBJ blog that IMS/Indy/Indycars was humming along just fine. They had everything under control...I was called a Chicken Little. And low and behold, the cows have come home to roost. Even Anthony's alarming IMS articles have been mocked the self-proclaimed "Disciple". The jig is up, the facade of the almighty Speedway is crumbling before your eyes. Just like we said it would. You don't need amenities for a stadium that no one wants to got to because the AOW product you are selling is GARBAGE. Fix the ICONIC blunder or it all will rust away...for good.
  • "We as taxpayers"
    Since "we the taxpayers" are bailing out -IMS with 100 million dollars--and with the borrower being the servant to the lender---shouldn't this covenant include televising live the Indy 500?--Hmm!
  • As IMS goes, so goes Indy (or is it the other way around?)
    I can't help but feel that in the current circumstances of IMS we can also read the state of Indy as a whole. Treading water (so to speak), living on past glory, infrastructure degradation, price hikes, hubris, disconnect with fans (taxpayers), fiscal issues, etc. Indy has lost so much of its luster in the past 10 yrs. Most of it because those in charge have been letting it happen, despite funds for a CAB. The public/private partnership is all but gone. Corporate HQs have quit Indy leaving only Eli Lilly & Co. and Lilly Endowment as the rump of the private part of the partnership. The city is doing more (cricket, really?, cricket? or is that just planning for future redevelopment?) on its own without any (apparent) strategy. The reputation of Indy as amateur sports capital of the US has been thrown away as we have come to focus on the Colts (and to a lesser extent the Pacers). We take the IMS for granted but not so much that our elected officials approve a special tax district to help IMS out (and why not? tax dollars subsidize the Colts from the stadium to guaranteed team profit margins). The tennis center is now, what, a parking lot? Once the greatest tennis players came to Indy to play at the most popular (if not most prestigious) tournament among players. No one put up any fight to keep it or to revive tennis. Local public schools continue a slow but inexorable decline. (Vouchers are really the only hope for those public school parents who really want to afford their children better educational options.) Indy won't deteriorate as badly as Detroit has but it will become more like St Louis.
  • NASCAR spending $400 million
    on Daytona updates. If TOney hadn't spent that much destroying open wheel racing, IMS could afford to keep Dipsicle happy
  • GREAT MOVE/IMS
    Doug Boles will move with the one thing we are in real need of/It is called common sense. Doug is also a real racer at heart and that has been a missing element since Tony George left whether you like him or not. We have to be encouraged by this move and hope Doug is being given the lattitude to move this great facility to its one time luster. Good LUCK Doug and we are all here to support your efforts whatever it takes.
  • Touche
    I applaud Disciple of Indy Car! Someone needs to say it. Having attended other races at other tracks I agree that IMS needs to "clean up their act" to excel and grow in the future. I can remember the good ol days when the powers to be cared about the fate of the 500 not the almighty dollar. There has to be a way to have the best of both worlds, make money and "save the track! Good luck Doug, SAVE OUR TRACK!
  • We're here to help!
    Congratulations Doug! We're here to help every way we can. http://productioninc.com/scott-mccullough-teaser/
  • Big Job Ahead
    As an adult who has been visiting IMS in person since 1959 I remain apprehensive about such appointments given the deterioration of the physical plant since Belskus began counting beans with fervor after they threw Tony out. Most IMS/IndyCar appointments consist primarily of shuffling good old boys around. Outsiders may last a year or two before they leave. What matters to me the most is someone who cares passionately about the place, its mystique and the condition in which it is kept. For the past few years the condition has become deplorable. They no longer landscape or mow the grass with necessary frequency. The main parking lot visitors see when visiting the museum is filled with potholes, cracks and broken pavement. The sidewalk to the museum is not much better. As I walked down pit road this year toward the S/F line the same lack of meaningful maintenance is easily spotted. In more than one restroom this year raw sewage leaks out of pipes again. The track is starting to blend in with the ghettos that now surround it on almost three sides. Whose responsibility is it to stop such deterioration? If it's Boles he has his work cut out for him, particularly given the Belskus penchant for not spending any money on anything. IMS has fallen well behind most other big time tracks in terms of amenities and access and that situation must be corrected now. Doug has his work cut out for him. I think (and hope) he gets it but his actions will speak loudly.
    • I hope Chief...
      I hope Chief is bringing the new layout for the deck chairs.
    • MotoGP
      I don't understand at all how the track markets itself - there are hundreds of motorcycle clubs within an easy ride of Indy and no significant effort to put together packages to get riders here. The MotoGP is a terrific race and a lot of fun.
    • cant wait to hear cHief
      Don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to hear cHief's nonsense response to this :)

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