For the first time since 1955, a member of the Hulman-George family didn’t give the command to start engines for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.
Roger Penske, who bought the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar series in January, instead gave the iconic command.
“This is a special day for me and the Penske family as we begin the stewardship of this iconic speedway. I want to thank the Hulman-George family for 75 years of leadership, also the passionate fans who are not here today, but guess what, we’ll be back home again in Indiana in 2021. Be safe, have fun. Drivers start your engines!”
The new owner joins a tradition that began in the 1940s and, since 1955, has been given by various members of the Hulman-George family.
For the first race held at IMS during his stewardship, the GMR Grand Prix on July 4, Penske opted not to give the command, instead handing the honors off to Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb. Big Machine Records CEO Scott Borchetta, sponsor of that weekend’s NASCAR Cup series race the following day, belted the command for that race.