But to those in the sport, meeting and greeting the person now charged with leading Indianapolis’ auto racing industry was key to attending the Championship Celebration at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Miles delivered in his introduction to team owners, manufacturer officials, drivers and, well, anyone involved with the sport.
“Seemed like a smart guy, good guy," said team owner Roger Penske, one of those who had a private meeting.
Little in Miles’ day had to do with official business, in part because he doesn’t take over as CEO of Hulman & Company, the parent company of IMS, IndyCar and other Hulman-George family businesses, until Dec. 17. He said his goal was to provide a message of calmness in the sport’s first gathering since IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard stepped down Oct. 28.
“It’s that ownership of the Hulman family, this company, is committed to growth and stability and making the right moves to move this sport upward," Miles said.
Miles doesn’t know the sport, per se, but he knows its landscape and understands the challenges ahead. An Indianapolis native, he has seen auto racing as a fan and, since March, as a board member of the family-owned company.
Dennis Reinbold, a co-owner of the Panther DRR team, has known Miles for years, as their children played tennis together. Everything he heard Thursday matched with what he already knew about the man.
“You put a mic in his face and you get confidence," he said.
Penske asked Miles who would run IndyCar. Miles didn’t shy away from the question. It will be neither Miles nor IMS CEO Jeff Belskus, who currently has the job on an interim basis.
“We’re just beginning to begin to think about it," Miles said. “It starts with a very clear understanding of what we have to get done and what attributes we need. I do think it has to be somebody who really understands racing." Indy Star