Speedway cuts 40 employees in latest cost-saving move

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A source at Indianapolis Motor Speedway said IMS laid off 40 employees Wednesday, mostly from its human resources department, in a cost-saving move.

IMS spokesman Paul Kelly would neither confirm nor deny the layoffs. He referred IBJ to a statement IMS issued Wednesday regarding the release of Ron Green. Green, who served 11 years as director of public relations for IMS and the Indy Racing League, was let go on Tuesday.

“All of our business units have been impacted by the tough global economy,” Fred Nation, IMS executive vice president of communications, said in the statement. “We will continue to address these challenges by improving the operational performance of our companies.”

IMS had about 300 employees prior to the layoffs.

“We anticipate consumer demand will continue to have an impact on our revenues well into 2010," Nation said, "but we have developed plans to meet the challenging business environment that give us great optimism for the future.”

IMS and IRL CEO Jeff Belskus, who assumed leadership from Tony George in July, told IBJ in August that the organizations “do face some challenges” financially, and he hinted at the possibility of additional layoffs.

The layoffs mark the second time in a year that the Speedway and related entities have trimmed their staffs.

Cuts were made last December across the IRL, IMS and IMS Productions. The organizations declined then to say how many employees were let go, but attributed the reduction to the economic downturn.


  • Ron Green firing "mistake"
    Letting Ron Green go is a mistake. He's a pro's pro when it comes to being a spokesperson for IMS and it's clear that the new regime understands NOTHING about "communications".
  • 40 People in HR comment
    re: Human Resource Department comment.

    How many full time staff members does it take to organize a thousand volunteers during the month of May? And all the part timers, who must fill out applications, and go through the full rigor of the hiring process to work occasionally. Not saying I know anything about HR, but the number of seasonal help out there must be real high.
  • Wishful thinking
    Wishful speculation or is there a micron of fact in your ramble? So you are either a mind reader, an insider or a CART fanatic who will never get over it. Odds say door number 3!
  • Economic downturn?
    Economic downturn? The speedway hosts 3 races, big races: Indy 500, Brickyard 400 and the MotoGP.

    IMS used to essentially "print money" with just ONE RACE, the Indy 500....through Cold Wars, AOW splits, Recessions, Depressions, whatever. Yet we're told everything is "coming up roses" with attendance and tv contracts and sanction fee revenues. They even tore down the Speedway Motel to save on real estate taxes.

    So how does this happen? Constants stay constant...and we haven't been privy to giant exposed grandstands of non-ticket buyers. Or have we been duped to believe the speedway is not as bulletproof as originally believed to be?

    Hmmm...inquiring minds want to know. Sorry to those folks who lost their jobs. I wonder if this is tied to Tony George being ousted from his job too?
  • Only The Beginning
    They are downsizing to a the absolute bare-minimum necessary to run the place for 2010 and through Indy 2011. Then it goes up for sale. A skeleton staff, in order to preserve what is left of the incredibly diminished Hulman-George treasure. Some of that loss is TG's fault, some of it is Madoff's. Regardless, a great deal of the fortune is gone. The grandkids, Carpenter is included for purposes of hierarchy, are not bright and capable enough to run the place. Granmama and others fear a TOTAL loss of fortune and plan to get out of it altogether as soon as the 100th year has been run. No more Indy 500, no more IRL. And really, outside of the truly hardcore Indy Car fans, does anybody really care. The commercial/residential development planned on IMS grounds will provide much more revenue over the long haul to Speedway, Indy, and Marion County than the race track will in a world in which motor racing in general, Indy Car racing in particular, has had its day, and is in the sunset of existence. These layoffs are only the start of the gradual shutdown of the IMS, and soon you will see barebones at the IRL too. Game over. Enjoy your last two Indy's.
    • 40 people in HR!
      It doesn't take 40 people to run a Human Resources department. Sorry they lost their jobs but that's crazy.
    • WOW
      I remember when they had 500 employees. talk about major downsizing in 3 & 1/2 years.

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