IndyCar »

Chitwood to leave IMS.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and COO Joie Chitwood has announced that he will be stepping down from his position after this weekend's NASCAR Allstate 400 at the Brickyard to join the International Speedway Corporation.

Chitwood joined the IMS staff as senior vice-president of business affairs in October 2002, before being promoted to president and COO two years later, overseeing daily operations at the Speedway, including both the Hall of Fame Museum and Brickyard Crossing Golf Course. During his tenure, the IMS has continued to grow in all aspects of its business operations, including the addition of both F1 and, more recently, MotoGP to the circuit's schedule.

Chitwood was one of the first staff members of the Indy Racing League, acting as liaison to its teams, and, in 2002, he had the honour of serving as pace car driver for the Indianapolis 500, nearly 70 years on from his family's connection to the Brickyard beginning in the late 1930s when his grandfather competed in the 500.

"After last fall's successful Red Bull Indianapolis GP event and the successful launch of the Speedway's Centennial Era, I began to start thinking about new challenges," Chitwood revealed, "Because of my family's history here at the Speedway, it was very difficult to make this decision to leave. Since my grandfather started bringing me here when I was young and knowing he raced in the 500, I had a lifetime of memories for this place before joining the company in 1996 as an Indy Racing League employee."

Before joining the IMS executive staff, Chitwood was vice-president and general manager of Raceway Associates LLC, which oversaw construction of the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway, and he will maintain his links to the motorsport world by returning home to Florida to take up the new role of vice-president of business operations for ISC in Daytona Beach. His last day with IMS will be Thursday 6 August.

Recently appointed Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and CEO Jeff Belskus will assume the daily responsibilities of managing the Speedway following Chitwood's departure, and it has not been determined if Chitwood will be replaced.

"This is a disappointment for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway," Belskus said, "Joie provided the leadership you would expect for a facility that hosts the largest sporting events in the world. With his history in the sport, combined with his business acumen, Joie was well-suited for the role of president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and we appreciate how he has represented IMS. We wish him all the best."

Chitwood's departure follows shortly after the exit if long-time IMS CEO Tony George, who was ousted from power by family members last momth.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Joie Chitwood   [pic credit: IRL/Garrett]
Will Power Texas
Indy 500 2017 start
Pippa Mann Indy 500 qualifying
2016 Indy 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Graham Rahal celebrates victory in the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway   (image credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens)
Firestone tyres during Indianapolis test   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Carlos Munoz celebrates his first IndyCar pole at Texas Motor Speedway
Alex Rossi, Indy 500 [Credit: IndyCar]
Marco Andretti - Andretti Autosport   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Joe Skibinski]
Matt Brabham to contest 2016 Indianapolis 500 with Pirtek and Team Murray
Matt Brabham to contest 2016 Indianapolis 500 with Pirtek and Team Murray
Justin Wilson speaks with Oriol Servia in pit lane (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson with a light moment prior to his qualification attempt for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson stands in Gasoline Alley at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the 2015 Indianapolis 500 (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Sage Karam, driver of the #8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Records Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his third-place finish Saturday, July 18, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.