Wheeler ponders future with IMS

June 22, 2009
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
humpyEver since the Indianapolis Motor Speedway board of directors met last month, there’s been rumblings about legendary race promoter H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler stepping in to help out his old friend Tony George shake things up at the famed Brickyard.

Last night, Wheeler, whose known the Hulman-George family for 40 years, told SpeedTV there’s a chance he could play a role in the IMS’ future.

"As far as Indy is concerned, Tony (George) and I are good friends and I actually may help them do some things,” said Wheeler, former president and general manager of Lowe’s Motor Speedway near Charlotte, N.C. “As far as going to a fulltime deal, that’s probably not in the cards.”

In May, Wheeler told Sirius NASCAR radio he would be interested in working for another track [besides Lowe's].

“If it was the right one and the right owner, I probably would,” Wheeler said. “That’s the main thing. I’m not interested in going through 80-hour weeks again.”

Wheeler wouldn’t tip his hand on just what his future role with the IMS might be, but said he is confident that George is the right captain to steer the ship. It was reported last month that some of the board of directors (and Tony George’s own family members) had suggested it was time for George to step aside as IMS chairman.

“I think Tony will get this thing straightened out,” Wheeler said. “We’re in a tough economy right now and racing all over’s been hit pretty hard.” Wheeler told Sirius that Speedway President Joie Chitwood “is a great general manager.”

Wheeler left no doubt that he was impressed by his trip to the Brickyard for last month’s Indianapolis 500.

“I had a ball up there,” Wheeler said. “I’ve been to the Brickyard [400] and all that but the Indy 500 is such a special [event].”
  • My guesss is 'ol Humpty-Dumpty will go lowest common denominator and cheapen the place. It just goes to show you how bad things are W. 16th and Gomertown Rd. when Humpty-Dumpty has to be brought in.

    Old, washed up rock stars and Humpty. Keep trying, Hulman-George Family. You'll get it right some day. Or it'll be too late. There is that.
  • Count, since you are so critical of every move and seem to know who and what is best, who do you recommend run IMS? Just for a minute, forget the Hulman George Family and tell me who is best to run it?
  • He doesn't really know anything other than his hat size that continues to swell with his ego. Do you really think, Purdue Fan, that you can Count on anything he says as worthwhile or credible?
  • And hey, while we're talking about it, here's another post for the great Count that he shouldn't miss:

    Rather pathetic that a blogger posing as a team owner finds it necessary to justify his existence. And that he has to attempt to pump himself up by telling us how many cream puffs he dates, how much money he has and how distracted he gets by demeaning race drivers. Seems he has a real self image problem. Perhaps being a Count isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?

  • I would recommend myself. Wealthy as I am, I cannot afford the $1.5 billion minimum to purchase IMS. I could go with some investors I think highly of and have conducted business with in the past, but the economic downturn/recession/depression has frozen that iunvestment capital in place for now and the four of us have been lucky to have minimal losses. So, an appointment to IMS is the only option and I would not/could not accept a position under the current leadership at IMS, or lack thereof.

    I would suggest myself and one other business partner/friend, a young, dynamic man who is in baseball and has done very well there. His vision ro IMS, no pun intended, when meshed with mine, are far superior to anything I have seen suggested anywhere.

    I am sorry but that is how it is. If it sounds egotistical, too bad. I didn't get to where I am by being timid or humble. Both are weaknesses. The rest is for you to argue about. I am interested in results. And I achieve them.

    Thank you,

  • They would have to open the books to make a sale, or interview serious contenders to run the joint.

    you think that is gonna happen? :lol:
  • I didn’t get to where I am by being timid or humble.

    Count, where exactly are you, anyway?
  • Perhaps the dilusional Count is really Tony George. Makes about as much sense as what he espouses.
  • IMS would not have to open their books to the public if they sold. Only to who they are selling to.
  • Count Hypocritica:

    I'm still waiting for the public humiliation you promised me over at SmackForum.

    You'd better bring the soup old man...
  • Zoomie,

    I think you misunderstood me. The public humiliation is for next May at Indianapolis. Not now. You'll know when it happend. Oh, believe me, you'll know.

    Should be good fun!


  • I'm vibrating like a Chevy push rod in anticipation of our future meet-up.
  • I'll bet you are vibrating, Zoomie. You look like that kind of guy. Make sure you wipe that thing off when you are done. Bacteria, and all... you know?
  • There's a good chance I'll be at the Kentucky race, kount Why wait for next May? We can meet up for some shenanigans, tomfoolery, and general good time Indycar fellowship! Whaddaya say?
  • Maybe Kentucky but my good stuff awaits for Indy next May. You'll appreciate it more.
  • Yeah...right. I'm scared.
    You know...I've been getting more veiled threats from disgruntled readers. You were the first. Must be because my stupid intardnet crap is getting popular.
    Thanks a lot, old buddy!
  • No, you're not scared. And that is your flaw. That's what will come back to haunt you next May, Zooms. And what do you mean veiled threats? Not from me. I am not threatening you at all. Certainly, we are not talking violence either. Rediculous. No, we are talking about, shall we say, a comeuppance. Some humilation. May is the time. Indy is the place. That's all I can offer. But it is not a threat. No, I am telling you clearly, you will reap what you sow next May.

Post a comment to this blog

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
  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.