As rumoured just over a month ago, Tony George has been removed from his senior roles at both the Hulman-George and Indianapolis Motor Speedway organisations - and has stood down as head of the IndyCar Series as well.
Despite issuing a statement in the wake of this year's Indianapolis 500 contradicting premature reports of his dismissal, George will no longer serve as president and chief executive officer of the Hulman-George companies, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation, although he will remain a board member of the former. He took the option to step back from his role as figurehead of the IRL personally.
The board of directors of Hulman & Company and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced overnight that a new management team comprised of veteran IMS executives W Curtis Brighton and Jeffrey G Belskus will head the Hulman-George companies with immediate effect from 1 July. Brighton, currently executive vice president and chief legal counsel, will become president and CEO of Hulman & Company, while Belskus, currently executive vice president and chief financial officer for the companies, will become president and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation.
"Our board had asked Tony to structure our executive staff to create efficiencies in our business structure and to concentrate his leadership efforts in the Indy Racing League," IMS board chairman Mari Hulman George confirmed, "He has decided that, with the recent unification of open-wheel racing and the experienced management team IMS has cultivated over the years, now would be the time for him to concentrate on his team ownership of Vision Racing with his family and other personal business interests he and his family share. Tony will remain on the board of directors of all of our companies, and he will continue to work with the entire board to advance the interests of all of companies.
"Our family and the entire racing community are grateful to Tony for the leadership and direction he has provided since 1990. We are pleased that he will continue to be an important part of the Indy Racing League as a team owner and as a member of our Board of Directors, and we wish him every success."
Mrs George went on to state here confidence in the choice of Belskus and Brighton - who both were originally hired by her son - to head up the companies.
"Jeff and Curt have both been with the company for many years in positions of top leadership," she said, "Tony, as well as the entire board of directors, has the utmost confidence in their capabilities. Both of these men have years of experience and leadership within our companies. In addition, each of our companies has effective presidential leadership, and that will remain in place."
Joie Chitwood remains as president and chief operating officer of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway LLC, Terry Angstadt as president of the commercial division of the Indy Racing League and Brian Barnhart as president of the series' competition division of the Indy Racing League.
"These changes underscore our family's commitment going forward to all of our companies, especially our commitment to the growth of the Indy Racing League and the sport of open-wheel racing," Mrs George concluded, "We believe the Hulman-George family's long stewardship of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, beginning in 1945, and our significant investment in the Speedway and in the IRL demonstrates that we have full confidence in all of our companies and that we intend to grow them in the future."