INDIANAPOLIS -- Brian Barnhart became president of the Indy
Racing League and Joie Chitwood III president of Indianapolis Motor
Speedway on Thursday.
Tony George, whose family owns the track, will remain president
and chief executive officer of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Corp. and its parent Hulman & Co.
There will be no change of duties for George, Speedway spokesman
John Griffin said.
"Tony is very much involved day-to-day and the overall boss of
everything," Griffin said of the restructured operation of the IRL
and its premier venue.
Barnhart, senior vice president of IRL racing operations the
past two years, who previously joined the Speedway staff in 1994 as
track superintendent. He became IRL director of racing operations
when Leo Mehl retired in 1997, vice president in 2000 and senior
vice president two years later.
Earlier, Barnhart worked for the Galles, Penske and Patrick race
"Brian brings experience and a reputation for solid leadership
to his expanded role," George said. "Brian's commonsense approach
is recognized both inside and outside the company. His loyalty to
the Indianapolis 500 and the IRL personally means a great deal to
Chitwood, formerly a stunt driver with his family's Thrill Show,
was vice president and general manager of Chicagoland Speedway,
which is partly owned by IMS. He joined the staff at Indianapolis
as senior vice president of business affairs in 2002.
His grandfather, Joie Chitwood, drove in the Indianapolis 500
seven times from 1940 to 1950.
"That, coupled with the experience he gained working with the
IRL ... and as vice president and general manager of the
Chicagoland Speedway, gives him a well-rounded appreciation for the
challenges and opportunities that go along with promoting three
world-class events," George said, referring to the Indy 500,
NASCAR's Brickyard 400 and Formula One's U.S. Grand Prix.