The Indianapolis Motor Speedway this afternoon released a statement denying a published report that Tony George had been told to step down as CEO of IMS by the track’s board of directors after a meeting last night.
The statement did confirm that George’s role in the management of various Hulman family businesses was discussed at the board meeting.
The IMS statement said board members asked George to “devise a plan for management of Hulman & Co., the Indy Racing League, Clabber Girl and the IMS that would allow him to focus on the business which requires the most attention,” referring to the Indy Racing League.
The plan is to be presented to the board at a meeting later this year, the statement said.
IMS board members include George’s mother, Mari Hulman George; his sisters Josie, Nancy and Kathy; attorney Jack Snyder and George himself. George is the grandson of Tony Hulman, who rescued the Speedway from probable demise in 1945.
In the statement issued by IMS, Tony George denied this morning’s SpeedTV report by longtime motorsports reporter Robin Miller, which said George was ousted as CEO of IMS after a vote by the directors.
“Contrary to published reports, I continue to serve as CEO of IMS,” George said. “Our board of directors met yesterday, and we did discuss how to best confront challenges and exploit opportunities facing our businesses. This is nothing new and is something that we continually do as a board. But no changes in leadership or responsibility have been made.”
Mari Hulman George said in the statement: “There was a general discussion about the challenges and opportunities facing all of our companies and where most of our energies need to be spent. All of our properties are doing well, given the challenges of the current economy. The Indy Racing League represents our greatest growth opportunity and therefore deserves the most attention at this point.”
Earlier in the day, Miller said he was sticking by his story. He said Speedway officials declined to respond to the story while he was working on it and after it was published.
“My sources are impeccable,” Miller said. “I stand by what I wrote.”