The whispers grow so loud sometimes, they reach all the way up to Mark Miles’ office on the second floor of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway administration building. He hears them. Usually gets a kick out of them, too.
Mark Miles is leaving his post as CEO of Hulman and Co., which owns IndyCar and IMS, to pursue a career in politics.
Mark Miles has accomplished all he set out to with IndyCar and has his sights set on a new, unknown challenge.
Mark Miles is pondering retirement.
“I don’t know where people get these things,” Miles told IndyStar with a laugh. “No. I’ll say it again. I’m not going anywhere.”
The latest round of rumors began with the death of racing matriarch and longtime IMS Chairman of the Board Emeritus, Mari Hulman George.
Some wondered whether her death would lead to IMS being auctioned off to the highest bidder or perhaps a restructuring of Hulman and Co.’s leadership.
“Nothing’s changing,” Miles said matter-of-factly. IMS is not for sale and the leadership structure will remain the same, he confirmed to IndyStar, adding that he has no reason to believe he is in anything but good standing with a board of directors that includes Mari Hulman George’s four children — Tony George (chairman), Nancy George, Josie George and Kathi George Conforti — along with Pacers executive Jim Morris, Purdue University President Mitch Daniels, Cardinal Equity Partners co-founder John Ackerman, former Anthem VP and CFO Mike Smith, attorney and longtime family friend Jack Snyder as well as Miles himself.
As for retirement, though he’s nearing “retirement age” at 64, Miles’ schedule remains as chock-full as ever and he says there is plenty more he’d like to accomplish before he rides off into the sunset.
Though he is proud of what he and his team have done since taking IndyCar’s reins in 2012 — the rejuvenation of the Indianapolis 500, the new TV deal, the new aero kit and the expanded car count among them — there remains a long to-do list.
While he’s amid negotiations on securing a new title sponsor for the series, he’d still like for IndyCar to add a third engine manufacturer, to expand its audience and to make the sport more profitable for its shareholders.
That said, there is no date nor specific goal that once accomplished will have him ready to walk away. Miles says he still loves the job. Still loves staring down IndyCar’s new and old challenges and orchestrating ways to overcome them. He still loves what the sport means to Indiana and Hoosiers. And he doesn’t plan on giving up any of that anytime soon.