History - 2008 SpeakerAnton H. (Tony) George
President and CEO
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Anton Hulman “Tony” George, 47, is president and chief executive officer of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation, and its parent, Hulman & Company. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is home since 1911 to the largest single-day sporting event in the world, the Indianapolis 500. George also founded the Indy Racing League and is one of the owners of Vision Motorsports IndyCar Series race team.
George represents the third generation of IMS ownership for the Hulman family of Terre Haute, Ind. Anton “Tony” Hulman, the grandfather for whom George is named, purchased the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from famed World War I flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker in 1945. Hulman’s daughter, Mari Hulman George, serves as IMSC’s chairman of the board. Tony George was appointed IMS president in 1989.
George founded the Indy Racing League in 1994 to preserve the traditions and excitement of America’s open-wheel racing. Today, the League’s IndyCar Series campaigns in 15 races across the country, and one race in Japan.
An aggressive program of expansion and investment has marked George’s tenure as IMSC president and CEO. Extensive reconstruction and redesign of various track components has preserved the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s reputation as the world’s premier racing facility. Each year, the track plays host to the Indianapolis 500, the world’s best-attended race. In 1994, George brought the NASCAR Winston Cup Series to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the annual Allstate 400 at the Brickyard event, the world’s second-largest single-day sporting event.
December 1998 marked the beginning of IMS’s largest capital program since the track was built in 1909. A new Pagoda control tower, pit-side suites, trackside center and hospitality accommodations were built and used in 2000. On Sept. 24, 2000, IMS welcomed the drivers of Formula One for the inaugural SAP United States Grand Prix which continued at the Speedway through the 2007 season.
In 2008, the Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP will be conducted at the IMS, kicking off the celebration of the Centennial Era. The first race on track at IMS was a motorcycle race in 1909, and in 1911 the first Indianapolis 500 Mile Race was run.
For his efforts in bringing the United States Grand Prix to Indianapolis, George was named “International Citizen of the Year” in September 2000 by the International Center of Indianapolis. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway also received the prestigious Formula One Constructors Association Award in 2000, presented to the best promoter and event organizer in Formula One each year. In 2004, Autosport Magazine recognized George for leadership in racing technology for development of the SAFER Barrier, an energy-absorbing wall system.
George was instrumental in the decision to convert to Ethanol as a fuel for the IndyCar Series. It was introduced in 2006 as a 10 percent blend, Beginning In 2007, the IndyCar Series competes at all races with a 100 percent, fuel grade ethanol fuel, the first major racing series to do so.
George’s racing background includes more than running one of the world’s premier motorsports companies. Since 1984, George has competed in various racing events, including the American Racing Series, the IMSA Firehawk sedan series, Legends races, USAC’s National Midget Series and the 2007 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.
George has received numerous awards, including two prestigious Sagamore of the Wabash awards.
George also serves as president of Hulman & Company, established by family patriarch Hermann Hulman in 1850. Hulman & Company, IMS’s parent company, produces Clabber Girl Baking Powder and includes substantial interests in real estate, energy, communications, banking and investments. He serves on the board of directors of First Financial Corporation and Vectren, both Indiana-based companies.
Tony and his wife, Laura, reside in Indianapolis. They have three children, and one grandchild.