IndyCar team selling off assets at auction

July 10, 2014
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Panther Racing, once one of the best little teams in the IndyCar Series, is now being sold off in pieces.

Indianapolis-based Key Auctioneers will be auctioning the complete assets of Panther Racing on July 23. The auction includes several Panther race cars and a variety of rolling stock, memorabilia, car parts, racing equipment and shop tools.

Panther Racing was founded in 1997 by a group that included former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jim Harbaugh. Co-owners of the team along the way included Indianapolis car dealer Gary Pedigo, former radio personality Mike Griffin, television production executive Terry Lingner and Doug Boles, now president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The team had many notable successes over the years including consecutive Indy Racing League championships in 2001 and 2002, and four consecutive runner-up finishes (2008-2011) in the Indianapolis 500.

The team is known for catapulting the career of driver Sam Hornish Jr. and giving the late Dan Wheldon his first ride as an IndyCar driver at the end of the 2002 season.

In the 2011 Indy 500 the team's rookie driver J. R. Hildebrand, was leading when he crashed on the final turn of the final lap. He coasted across the finish line to place second—ironically to Wheldon.

But the team—under the leadership of John Barnes—has struggled in recent years. Earlier this year the team filed a lawsuit against the IndyCar Series (formerly Indy Racing League) and others alleging that bidding improprieties led to Panther losing the $17.2 million Army National Guard sponsorship to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

The auction will include two 2011 IndyCar racing cars, Hornish’s 2003 Chicago and Fontana race-winning, record-setting car, and fiberglass show cars along with the team motor home, trailers, computers and a wide range of other equipment. The complete selection can be found on the Key Auctioneers website.

The auction will begin at 10 a.m. at Panther’s facility at 5740 Decatur Blvd, Indianapolis. Online bidding will also be available. An inspection of the items will take place on July 22 beginning at 10 a.m.


  • So Long Panther
    Sad to see them go; they were a great underdog story for much of the 2000s. Perhaps as one team vanishes another will take root. IndyCar could use a few more of those types of teams.
  • Defenderciple Toney and the IRL
    have kept Key Liquidators in the black over the past decade and more. KL could have been the Irl's title spawnser
  • 25/8
    Best news I've had all day! Can't wait for Foyt, Silver Spoon err Special Ed Racing and Fisher Polo Water to follow suit.
  • And so it begins...
    They are all going down, Brett in Indy. They are all going down. Pay close attention to the Panther auction because there will be many more and you want to do these things right. Chip and Rog will be the last two men standing, with 8 or 9 cars on the track, all Indy Lights at Pocono-style, with abotu the same-sized crowd of 1,134 fan, one of which will be Disciple. By the way, how are those activations going, Disciple? I see Panther has "deactivated". Bbbwwwaaahhaaaaaaa!!!!!!!
  • It's easy
    to be the big fish in the little pond of IRL midwest racin' when yer up against Racin' Gardner
  • The Sky Is Falling LOL
    As previously stated it is a sad loss to see Panther go. That said it will be a while before Key Liquidators sees the volume experienced during those glory years for which the youngsters pine. There is a lot of catching up to do from all those glory years. Jerry O'Connell Racing, Chaparral, Team McLaren, Bob Fletcher Racing, Morales Motorsports, Longhorn Racing, Frantz Racing, Gehlhausen Racing, Rhoades Competition, Conqueste Racing, Wysard Racing, Mach 1 Racing, Hodgdon Racing, Walmotor, Intercomp, Cannon Racing, AMI Racing, Beaudoin Racing, JJ Enterprises, Pacific Coast Racing, Karl Racing, Alsup Racing, Mergard Racing, BFM Racing, Hoffman Racing, Rager Racing, O’Hanlon Racing, Woodward Racing, Shade Tree Racing, Bignotti-Cotter Racing, Tempero Racing, Buick Racing, Machinists Union Racing, Theodore Racing, Frey Racing, Space Racing, Metro Racing, Jet Engineering, Mergard Racing, Davis Racing, Joe Hunt Magneto, Mayer Racing, VDS, American Dream Racing, Provimi Veal Racing, Kraco Racing, Hess Racing, Forsythe, Pace Racing, GTS Racing, Gohr Racing, Indy Auto Racing, Ellme Racing, McCray Racing, Renaissance Racing, Primus Racing, Canadian Tire Racing, Ed Wachs Motorsports, Center Line Racing, Circle Bar Racing, J.P. Racing, Mosquito Autosport, Arciero, NFW Racing, Porsche, Raynor, United Oil, Walther, Gary Trout Motorsports, Andale Racing, Kent Baker Racing, Protofab Racing, Bayside Motorsports, Euromotorsport, Saleen, Mann Motorsports, P.I.G. Motorports, TEAMKAR International, Nu-Tech Motorsports, MacKenzie Financial, Edge Superior, Team Losi, Hayhoe Racing, D.B. Mann, King Racing, Concept Motorsports, Turley Motorsports, Paragon Motorsports, International Sport, Indy Regency Racing, ProFormance Racing, PacWest, McCormack Motorsports, Comptech Racing, Hall Racing, Tasman Motorsports, Project Indy, Della Penna Motorsports, Davis Racing, Project CART, PPI Motorsports, Mo Nunn Racing, Sigma Autosport, Team Players, Herdez Competition, PWR Championship Racing, Team Motorola, Fittipaldi-Dingman Racing, American Spirit, PK Racing, Rocketsports Racing, RuSport, PKV Racing, Team Australia, Pacific Coast Motorsports or Minardi Team USA for starters.
    • Add the Iowa Cornhole 174
      as another lost cause. Many more fans at the third tier truck race.
    • Key Liquidators
      They may be the ONLY company to ever make any money off TOneys' "vision". And Darrala
    • And remember
      TOney got into the business to perserve the American strret racin tradition
    • The latest reason the IRl isn't popular
      It's the selfish people who decide to get married on a Saturday of a long weekend which ruin an entire 3 days. From the official IRL fan forem.
    • The IRl catered to Dipsicle's
      demographic and it is now virtually invisible. No competition, the IRl 500 and it is still minor league. You wood think that after spending a billion dollars they wood have something to show for it. The seeds of its failure were planted early on. If not for a foreign road race and a French bicycle race, the IRl could be the top rated broadcast on lowly NBCSN.
    • Failure with a Capital F
      Hey Disciple, thanks for pointing out there are just about as many teams in Indy Car racing that have gone asunder as there are race tracks that have gone the bye-bye. Too funny. Wanna say, Bbbbbbbbbbbwwwwaaaahhhhaaaaaaaa!!!!!! Now it looks like they can't even make the Iowa Racers of The Corn Grand Prix Indy thingy 300 K whatever it is work out. With Fontucky tickets selling so poorly there are (go look) tens of thousands upon tens of thousands of seats available, it don;t look good, Disciple. You'll have soem teams to add to your list soon when the Series goes the bye-bye, Bbbbbbwwwwaaahhaaaaaa!!!!!! Hopefully, they'll make it ot that 100th Indy...barely. But they'll make that I think. Crawling. Bbbbwwwwaaahhhhaaaa!!!!
    • yawn
      HaY Anthony....This is some scathing reporting you've been doing. Kudos for avoiding real topics like how crappy attendance AND tv ratings are doing since Indy. The Hulman Solar Farm, how much CART-like IMS is making the series. brian Barnhart back in race control. The "over the billion$ spent since 1996" angles. And, quizing Paul Tracy as to what might get him fired if he said it outloud. THESE are the things folks wanna know about...not some cheating money grabber like Barnes and Panther. They were the IRL and IRL bums are being tossed out like used chewing tobacco. Defender still like the taste though.
      • Oh Look...
        Lilly decided to sponsor another NASCAR race and heck it is even the local race. How many IRL races do they sponsor?
        • ToNey Goerge Jr kicking butts, taking names
          8 cars in Indy Lights. They've raced once since Indy....that's like 6 races ago. The road to Indy is a hapless joke. Good thing IMS killed Formula Atlantics for F2000tard. Good thing IMS killed AOW for the IRL. Any word on the Indy 500 glamping murders? How's the vintage daze attendance? IMS must be in the red still, huh? Any truth to the rumor the speedway revitalization plan is in the 3 sided ghetto dumper? Have they fixed the handicap accessibility yet? Any new ADA lawsuits?
        • Still spreading the FUD, I see
          And he of the scary intellect has spoken. Now why don't you break that out by the teams that were formed only for Indy? Or USAC? Or the original "all oval" American Star IRL? CAN'T? Didn't think so. Unfortunately for you, thus isn't your cheese ball blog, and you can't delete the comments that call you on your lies. Have fun pal, because I'm going to haunt you here too, pointing out your falsehoods for all to see. Now take yourself and the 400 other fans at Pocono and head to Milwaukee. At least you'll have plenty of room to spread out.
          • ChIeF should auction his commadore 66
            ChiEf Don’t even talk about how it’s been thought for a few years that John Barnes has misused his sponsor money from ME the taxpayer with his National Guard sponsorship. Teams have done FAR more with less. He was not a good steward of his money – he can do what he wants with it, but the sponsors can leave too if they think they are being railroaded. So just as I thought any chance you get to hear your self sqwak you do. Get rid of your commodore 66 and quit typing here ?
            • How many races for Lilly?
              Answer:as many as are worth sponsoring. (i.e.-NONE!)
            • IRL is Phoney
              All I know is we just got back home from the Iowa race last night. First time there at Iowa Speedway. Great place. Great food. Nice setting. So I want to ask how come many of the "fans" there were making fun of IndyCar before, during, and after the race? They laughed when Sato and the Russian kid clobbered into each other and cheered when Montoya wrecked. And there were not that many fans in the first place. Great race. Great finish. But mighty funny how Ryan Hunter-Reay all of a sudden got REALLY, REALLY, Nitro Funny Car fast to win it in front of the All-American country folk. Hmmmmmmmmm.... Teams are closing shop. Suing the government, other drivers, each other, race results are suspicious. Something is wrong here. Very wrong.
            • hey older fan
              Nixon is not the president anymore either.And the bell bottoms your wearing with your boots look goofy :)
              • Commodore Amoeba
                Even a Vic-20 could be used to remind the excessively flatulent bloviators here that Indycarz stink and the cars are ugly. Anthony won't even write about it no more. How sad is that? The Indians, Pacers, the Roller Girls and the Colts are top priorities around Naptown. The hapless Verizon IRL Series gets rotten tomatoes. Bwhahhahhaha! Even ChampCar gets more respect and it's been dead twice for over 6 years. Put that in your fryer littleB.
              • Hey Big B
                So how's the Lilly sponsorship of the IRL/INDYCAR series working? What? Sponsoring NO teams or races? But...But... They DID sponsor a CART team back in the day, and now a few NASCAR events. But no love for that Indy based premier open wheel series? Come on, that can't be right! I mean, those Indy people, they saved racing from all those mean and unfair CART team owners, right? Surely that home grown Pharma company can spare a little loose change... Oh, the humanity...
              • Hey Big B, part 2
                All kidding aside, I was part of a tech services group that did a pretty good renovation project at the Lilly tech center Cell Culture bldg. We removed and scrapped tons of perfectly good process equipment. If we only knew that the Indycar series and the Speedway were so hard up for cash, we could have tried to sell or auction it off! We could have used the money we raised to rehab the bathrooms. Just think, we could have had a sign over each stall "this crapper brought to you by junk from the Lilly Company" Seems appropriate.
              • Hey Big B, part 3
                That Nixon reference got me's the early 70s, Nixon is still president. Back home in Indiana, so to speak, you've got the Indy 500, and a bunch of races that no one ever sees. With paid crowds at places like the dump in Trenton numbering in the dozens. Here we are now! 21st Century! Nixon's not the president ( although what we have now makes Nixon seem like George Washington) and back Home Again in Indiana, we've got the 500, and a bunch of races that no one ever sees! With paid crowds at places like Fontana and Pocono that number in the dozens! Whooo hooo! Now THAT PROGRESS!
              • Olderfan, Si'!
                I just read a great piece written by Olderfan, all of you should read it. It's over on Disciple's tinyD IRL blog where IRL Defender sez it's the owners fault for everything that's wrong in the IRL series! When Olderfan tells tinyD that owners make the sports world go round EXCEPT at INDY, minisculeD deletes his messages. Kinda like censorship. Too funny! Stay after these HuLmanites, Oldfan! Maybe they can learn something....naaah, they too stubborn and IMS placefans to understand any of it. It's true...all of it. SAVE OUR TRACK!!! Gulp, they swallow it all down.
              • Debunking the Disciple AGAIN
                Ok. Last one until the D-man blesses us with more of his wisdom: In a thread related to the miserable POCONO attendance, Dependster claimed that ALL sports have seen large drops in attendance, just like Indycar. So I linked research that showed his assertions were just fabrications on his part, so he deleted/moved them so it would not be readily seen. Sorry for the length, and the formatting doesn't stay entirely clear when doing a copy/paste, but I hope you will get my drift- "I’ll re-post this, seeing as you’ve moved what was a post that stayed ON TOPIC as it pertains to your completely incorrect assertion regarding attendance at sporting events (that YOU posted in replies on this thread) So, until our intepid host ( D boy)with obvious integrity challenges moves it AGAIN, here is what ol’ D-boy doesn’t want you to know: “Sorry, but, as usual, virtually none of your contentions hold up under scrutiny (with the possible exception of your criticism of the Hulman George family-there, except for holding the real culprit in that family accountable, you do assign blame, at least for the condition of your beloved speedway). Ownership groups kill most series? I’m sorry, but pretty much ALL of the major sports (NFL, MLB, NHL & NBA, for starters) are run by the OWNERS. They may hire a commisioner, executive director, etc, but in the end the owners control the sport/league. And in the cases of those aforementioned sports, ALL of them are far more financially successful than Indycar, and receive far more media attention. As far as attendance goes, your assertions are just plain wrong: Note that the fluctuation in average or total attendance is on the order +/- 3%. And also note that baseball (a sport whose attendance you disparaged in a piece a few months ago) has seen its top ten attendance figures occur in the last decade, during a time where you claimed the all sports, MLB included, had seen significant drops in attendance. All while opening new ballparks, that in many cases, have seen significant reductions in seating capacity, yet are drawing more fans in total. As I stated: “Nature abhors a vacuum. These families have found other interests and they’re not coming back anytime soon. Attendance is stable at BEST, and trending the wrong way at most venues. And that is NOT the trend of most of the major league sports in the USA. Discounting strike years, attendance at NFL, NHL, MLB and NBA has been remarkably stable.” Your reply: “Editor’s Note: NFL excepted, the numbers simply do not back you up. IndyCar remains in the same relative place in the pecking order as it mostly always has been.” Demonstrably wrong on your part. As usual.” Editor’s Note: Moved because not one word has to do with the blog topic. I may address your quaint off topic protestations once I return from Iowa next week. (So, your comments had nothing to do with the blog topic, either, moron? Thanks for clearing that up. YOU opened up the subject regarding attendance, particularly as it pertained to POCONO) Editor’s Note: You are doing a fine job of pigeonholing isolated non-neutral pieces of data to support your quaint hypothesis. In actual reality television ratings in general have dropped 60% since 2002. And baseball? In ten years baseball on Fox and ESPN has lost about a million per game. Attendance is down this year over last by almost a million. You can pigeonhole all you want but in terms of general trends try reputable neutral sources; e.g., Sports Business Journal, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, etc. I know you might have to pay but I’ll take coherence over hysteria any day of the week. Comment by Olderfan — July 14, 2014 @ 8:26 pm | Reply
              • Can someone tell me
                how the latest IRl ad campaign is going? Does it wipe the slate clean? Does it have the few remaining fans on the edge of their toilets? Did it bring the hunnert and fitty thousand back to Toronto? LULZ Nelson is busting a gut.
              • Indy doing better than Brickyard tho
                MEGA rickets still available for the Brickyard 400. MEGA. What happened? At least Indy 500 better with ticket. NASCAR suffering big time with the sales of ticket for 400. It will be, aas they say "ghost town" this comign weekend.
              • Too Bad really
                It is sad to see these races not have a full attendance. The Indy Car races are so much more exciting than Nascar. It seems to me the commenters here are still a little upset with Tony George from a move he made 20 years ago. It was his decision to make, not yours. He lost his position over it. But I believe the problem in all pro sports is the escalating price of admission. In todays economy, people have to pay much more for food and gas. The average fan cannot attend many events anymore. It's gotten priced out of most peoples budgets.
                • And millions of us
                  made our decision and that's what got TOney canned. It was our decision, not TOney's.

                Post a comment to this blog

                COMMENTS POLICY
                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