Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Indy CEO Tony George denies ouster

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Tony George is still in charge of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, despite reports that he had been voted out.

"Contrary to published reports, I continue to serve as CEO of IMS,'' George said Wednesday in a statement.

A report posted on its Web site Wednesday said the board of directors had removed George from his position during a meeting Tuesday night. ran a similar report.

"Our board of directors met yesterday, and we did discuss how to best confront challenges and exploit opportunities facing our businesses,'' George said in the statement. "This is nothing new and is something that we continually do as a board. But no changes in leadership or responsibility have been made.

George, who is also CEO of the IRL and an IndyCar team owner, has led the family-owned speedway for the past 20 years. During that time, he started the Indy Racing League and brought NASCAR, Formula One and Grand Prix motorcycles to the 100-year-old, tradition-bound Indiana track.

According to the statement, board members asked George to devise a plan that would allow him to focus on the business that requires the most attention. reported George was ousted as CEO because his three sisters, all members of the board, were concerned about the money he had spent to keep the IRL afloat and to make major changes to the speedway.

"This place wakes up every morning and eats money,'' George told local TV reporters during an appearance at the speedway. "We spend a lot of money keeping it in the condition we do. Certainly the Indy Racing League has in the past required a lot of capital to keep it going when there was two competing series - and a lot of money was spent last year trying to unify. We got that done and everybody's hoping to catch a tail wind and then the economy's in our face. We're just dealing with that.''

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