Monday, July 20, 2009
Chitwood Second To Leave IMS
Joie Chitwood ((pictured, second from left, thanks daylife.com)) resigned today as president of Indianapolis Motor Speedway to become vice president of business operations of International Speedway Corp., the parent company of NASCAR.
Chitwood was elevated to the Speedway's position in December 2004 after serving various roles with the Indy Racing League, Chicagoland Speedway and the Speedway. He was one of the IRL's first employees.
Chitwood's last day will be Aug. 6. He said he began considering new challenges after last year's inaugural MotoGP race at the Speedway and the start of the Centennial Era, a celebration of the first 100 years of the facility.
In a statement, Chitwood said he plans to return to his native Florida.
Jeff Belskus, who became chief executive officer of Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp. on July 1, will assume daily responsibilities at the Speedway. The statement released by track officials said it was unclear if Chitwood's position will be filled.
"With his history in the sport combined with his business acumen, Joie was well-suited for the role of president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and we appreciate how he has represented IMS. We wish him all the best,'' Belskus said.
Chitwood was one of the Indy Racing League's first staff members and his family has connections to the Speedway dating to the late 1930s, when his grandfather began competing in the Indianapolis 500.
"I had a lifetime of memories for this place before joining the company in 1996,'' Chitwood said in a statement.