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AGE: 59 GIG: New CEO of Hulman & Company GAME CHANGER: The former pro-tennis honcho and Super Bowl whisperer plans to reinvigorate open-wheel racing and spruce up the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
I absolutely don’t believe in the old adage, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” It’s about talent and effort and being genuine. In life, your network matters, but networking can be artificial. Those who fail are usually the ones who don’t care about other people. A good leader is always looking to simplify. It’s easy to lose people in details. People love sports because of the drama and the human stories. Winning, losing, injuries, cheating, achievement, and despair. All these dramatic elements captivate people. I have partied in the Snake Pit, but not since college. No matter where you are on the [IMS] grounds, the first laps—you won’t ever forget them your whole life.
We have four kids, and I think we were micromanagers with the first more than we are with the fourth. Part of it is that they just wear you out, but you also realize that every little thing doesn’t matter. What matters is their character. I want to figure out how to make the Speedway and IndyCar resoundingly successful. It’s part of the culture of the state in the best sense. It matters economically. I didn’t always realize that. I was afraid we were gearheads and that it wasn’t a sophisticated brand for the city. I can’t imagine that anyone could come here and not be struck by the enormity, the grandeur, and the power of the place. This is such a great brand that means so much to the city and the state that it just has to work.
—as told to Dave Seminara
IndyCar's Global AudienceNumber of countries that broadcast open-wheel racing, by continent
Photo by Tony Valainis
This article appeared in the May 2013 issue.
Copyright © 2013. All rights reserved.