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Anton Hulman George

Also Known As: "Tony George"
Birthdate:
Immediate Family:

Son of Elmer George and Mari Hulman George
Husband of Laura George
Ex-husband of Private
Father of Tony George Jr.
Brother of Nancy Conforti; Private and Private

Managed by: Patricia Ann Clark
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Tony George

Anton Hulman "Tony" George (born December 30, 1959) is the former President and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Hulman & Company, serving from 1989 to 2009. He was also formerly on the Board of Directors of both entities. He founded the Indy Racing League and co-owned Vision Racing. Many commentators, such as Gordon Kirby, suggest that George's actions at the head of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and in creating the IRL to rival the then-dominant CART led to a sharp decline in popularity of open-wheel racing in the United States as it split the fanbase, and gave a significant boost to the national popularity of NASCAR.

George is a former driver, having competed in the 1989 Indy Lights championship, finishing 12th in points and capturing 5 top-tens.

Tony George became president and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation after the death of Joe Cloutier in 1989.

During his first few years as Speedway head, he oversaw new projects such as an infield road-circuit, Tower Terrace Suites, pit lane reconstruction (including the addition of a warm-up lane requested by many influential Speedway alumni), and a control tower.

Before George's arrival, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (or "the Speedway") traditionally had only one race: the Indianapolis 500. He changed that with the announcement that a NASCAR race would be held at the Speedway. The Brickyard 400 made its debut on August 6, 1994, with Jeff Gordon taking the checkered flag. Many Indianapolis purists despise stock car racing at the most famous circuit in North American open-wheel lore. Some fans believe the configuration of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as well as the diamond cutting of the track surface makes it a poor facility for stock car racing, traditionally exhibited on high banked ovals.

In 1998, the IROC series came to the track, to little fanfare, and less success.

Later, George helped bring Formula One back to the U.S. with the United States Grand Prix held at the Speedway in 2000. This project involved building a road course inside the oval. The inugural event in 2000 set an F1 attendance record. Controversy surrounded the 2005 United States Grand Prix, where only 6 of the 22 cars took the green due to problems with Michelin tires, which likely damaged the reputation of the event and the F1 in general in the USA market. Michael Schumacher became the first driver to win 5 races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway by winning the 2006 race on July 2. The UK's Lewis Hamilton won the 2007 event, which turned out to be the last running. George and Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone could not reach an agreement to continue the US Grand Prix at the Brickyard for 2008 and beyond.

The Speedway hosted its first MotoGP event in 2008. The motorcycles could not safely race through the banked turns at high speed, so a portion of the infield was plowed and paved to provide a bypass to Turn 1 of the original road course.

George resigned on June 30, 2009 as President and CEO of IMS and Hulman & Company claiming it to be so he could focus more time on the Indy Racing League. It has been reported that while George's mother Mari Hulman George (who is also chairman of the board) supported him, his sisters (who are the other directors) wanted him forced out. The board also rejected George's request to continue funding Vision Racing. George had spent hundreds of millions of dollars on IRL teams, drivers, entry fees, marketing plans, airplanes, personnel and his own team. However the IRL has been said to be continually losing money, and after the estimated $60 million overhaul of the Speedway to accommodate Formula One in 2000, George’s sisters, Nancy George, Josie George and Kathi Conforti-George, voiced their concern to their mother over the spending habits of their brother, finally convincing Mari Hulman George to take unchecked power away from George in June 2009.

In January 2010, George resigned from the board of directors. In February 2011, however George again became a director of Hulman & Company when the board was expanded

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Tony George's Timeline

1959
December 30, 1959
1984
1984