Indianapolis, IN — Hulman & Company and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Chairman of the Board Emeritus Mari Hulman George died Saturday (Nov. 3) in Indianapolis at the age of 83.
Motorsports and the world-renowned racetrack were among the cornerstones of her life from the time her father, Anton “Tony” Hulman Jr., purchased the facility in November 1945.
Nine years later — at 20 — Hulman George joined with longtime family friend Roger Wolcott to form the HOW racing team, which fielded American Automobile Association (AAA) and United States Auto Club (USAC) Sprint and National Championship cars for several drivers, including Jerry Hoyt, Eddie Sachs, Tony Bettenhausen, Roger McCluskey and Elmer George, whom she married in April 1957.
Her team was successful. George won the Midwest Sprint Car title in 1957 and finished third in 1956 and 1958. Sachs was runner-up in the rankings in 1954. George ended up 10th in the National Championship standings in 1957, with a victory in a 100-mile race at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse.
Hulman George also fielded an entry in the Indianapolis 500 in 1962 and 1963, with her husband as the driver. Elmer George finished a career-best 17th in 1962, receiving relief help from Paul Russo and A.J. Foyt.
IMS prospered and evolved during Hulman George’s tenure as chairman of the board from 1988-2016, including expansion of the facility’s annual schedule to include the Brickyard 400 for the NASCAR Cup Series, the United States Grand Prix for the FIA Formula One World Championship and the Red Bull Indianapolis GP for the FIM MotoGP World Championship.
Hulman George’s commitment to racing was equaled by her generosity for supporting local, regional and national causes. She served as a trustee at the Rose-Hulman Institute for Technology in Terre Haute, founded in 1974 with significant assistance from the Hulman family.
The Hulman George family also made large contributions to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana State University, Purdue University, Indiana University and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, among other art and educational institutions.