Tony George folds racing team, dismisses staff

January 28, 2010

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.


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