I got a text from a friend as I was leaving breakfast with some friends. “What’s up with the sale of the track to Penske? ” I read it twice. Then I looked it up. My first impression was shock. Not only the track, but the series and other properties were sold. Here are my initial thoughts. I will update this story after the 11 am press conference.
I have never in my lifetime known the Speedway to be owned by anyone except Tony Hulman or the Hulman -George family. It makes me to sad to think that the Hulman name will no longer be a part of the Speedway going forward.
I had a feeling when Mari Hulman George died 366 days ago that her death started the track on an inevitable path to today’s announcement.
There may not be many changes for 2020 because much is already locked in, but there could be some big differences in 2021.
I’m glad the Speedway was sold to someone who has respect for the track and the Indianapolis 500.
My concern is Penske’s history of track ownership. I hope eventually the track isn’t sold to NASCAR.
I have many other concerns, such as track personnel, new spectator policies, and physical changes to the track. I’m not sure if any will be answered at the press conference.
More tracks could open up to Indycar races with Penske’s influence.
The double header with NASCAR could moire easily become a reality.
I have a concern about conflict of interest with a race team owned by the owner of the series. This concern also extends to the 500, but the Speedway ownership has fielded cars in the past.
Will this help Indycar obtain a third OEM?
As with IMS, 2020 is probably not changing, but after that, especially when current agreements expire, everything is wide open to change.
I will update this post after the press conference. My head is still spinning.