IMS COO Chitwood steps down
Indianapolis Motor Speedway COO Joie Chitwood announced on Monday he will be stepping down from his position after the Brickyard 400 race this weekend.
Chitwood said he will return to his home state of Florida, where he is becoming the vice president of business operations for the International Speedway Corporation.
Chitwood joined the IMS as senior vice president of business affairs in 2002, before being promoted to his current role in 2004.
"After last fall's successful Red Bull Indianapolis GP event and the successful launch of the Speedway's Centennial Era, I began to start thinking about new challenges," Chitwood said.
"Because of my family's history here at the Speedway, it was very difficult to make this decision to leave.
"Since my grandfather started bringing me here when I was young and knowing he raced in the '500,' I had a lifetime of memories for this place before joining the company in 1996 as an Indy Racing League employee."
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Belskus will assume the daily responsibilities, although the IMS said it is yet unclear if Chitwood will be replaced.
"This is a disappointment for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway," said Belskus. "Joie provided the leadership you would expect for a facility that hosts the largest sporting events in the world.
"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."