Roger Penske downplayed suggestions that his new role as incoming owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the NTT IndyCar Series represents a conflict of interest due to his also being a team owner.
“As you look at the construct as we go forward, the sanctioning body and [NTT IndyCar Series] will be a separate company, and the other assets will be in the Speedway,” he said.
“But I don’t want to leave this conversation without [you] knowing that I understand the integrity, and there’s got to be a line. I know what my job is, and hopefully I’ve got enough credibility with everyone that we can be sure that there is not a conflict, and I’ll do my very best to be sure that isn’t. If you think it is… I know that you folks will tell me pretty quick. So I’ve got a lot of guys watching me.”
Initial reactions from rival IndyCar team owners showed little evidence of such concerns on their part.
“This is great news for the industry,” said Chip Ganassi. “The news will provide a shot in the arm to both the sport of auto racing and specifically to the IndyCar Series. Roger is a good friend and a class act, and all of his businesses are run well and with integrity. I couldn’t be happier for all of us that are involved with the sport.”
Ganassi’s support was echoed by RLL co-owner Bobby Rahal.
“Roger Penske’s commitment to the sport we love is over six decades long, and I am confident that his stewardship of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the IndyCar Series will ensure a great future for the sport,” he said.
“His many successful business ventures underline the fact that he is the perfect custodian of one of the most historic venues in the world and is the perfect architect to build the foundation for the next 100-plus years of the sport. We look forward to working with Roger in order to make the IndyCar Series and the Indy 500 the best it’s ever been.”