Penske Entertainment Corp. - a subsidiary of the Penske Corporation owned by Detroit businessman Roger Penske - is purchasing Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the NTT IndyCar Series and IMS Productions, according to an IMS and IndyCar news release Monday morning.
The IndyCar Series is on an upward trend with improved television ratings and increased interest.
"Roger has always strived to do great things for both IMS and Indy vehicle racing, and I'm sure he will continue to do so in this new ownership position", Andretti said.
The Captain's six most recent Indy 500 victories have all been earned by different drivers going back to 2003, with Gil de Ferran winning in 2003, Sam Hornish Jr. winning in 2006, three-time victor Helio Castroneves winning in 2009, two-time victor Juan Pablo Montoya winning in 2015, Will Power winning in 2018 and most recently Simon Pagenaud winning earlier this year. In all forms of racing, Team Penske has over 545 victories and championships ranging from Sports Cars to two NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series titles.
Penske says the acquisition is expected to close in January upon receipt of regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
"We have found the ideal steward of the company and its iconic assets", the document said. "Ultimately, it was made a decision to focus on the possible sale of the company and finding a buyer that would be the best steward of the company and its iconic assets".
Support from rival team owners was immediate.
Michael Andretti called it "positive news" for the speedway and the series while Bobby Rahal called Penske the "perfect custodian". We would expect to take this for many, many years. Penske teams remained in CART, and CART teams were not welcome at the 500.
The news was met with open arms and lots of cheers from around the racing world.
Executives from Hulman & Company, which has owned the famed track since 1945, where the crown jewel of American open wheel racing is held each Memorial Day weekend, will be joined by Penske Corp. The company acquired Michigan International Speedway in the early 1970s and now promotes and operates the Detroit Grand Prix, which runs at the Belle Isle Park street circuit.
IndyCar president Jay Frye stated: "The stewardship of this sport will have the unique opportunity to transition from one iconic institution to another in the Penske Corporation".
The purchase was applauded by Team Penske driver Will Power, the 2018 Indy 500 victor and former IndyCar champion, who understands all Penske drivers strive to please the boss at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Tony George, along with his sisters and the Hulman & Co. board of directors, have most recently been in charge of Hulman properties.
George also recognized that the sale represents a fundamental shift for the almost-170-year-old Hulman and Co, which sold its other prize asset - the Clabber Girl baking power brand - in May. "Hopefully I have enough credibility to ensure that there is not a lot of conflict".
Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump awarded one of the nation's highest civilian honors to Penske when he presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
"His business acumen and dedication to IndyCar racing and passion for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is second to none", he said.
"They (NASCAR) need to run at Indianapolis. When we buy a business, we look at the people, and the great thing is we've rubbed shoulders with numerous people here over the years, so we've seen this organization grow, and I certainly think that certainly".