We don't think Tony George leaving his position has an impact on the league losing sponsorship money. He doesn't bring a commercial value.
Some surmise that knowing the IRL probably cannot survive without that money is what made George resign as chief of the IRL as well. He probably did not want his name on the sinking ship when it finally goes belly up.
Another possibility is that the rumor we have heard regarding NASCAR being interested in buying the IRL would mean that George would be ousted sooner rather than later so rather than risk the embarrassment of being fired twice, first by his sister as IMS boss and then as IRL boss, he simply stepped away.
Tony is very passionate about Indy Car and he ultimately accomplished what he set out to do, destroy CART, and in return get full control of IndyCar racing. He accomplished that goal, CART, and later Champ Car are dead.
Let’s face it, am I the only stranger in a strange land. Many loved CART, but CART was a stranger in a VERY strange land. They were trying to conduct "business" on the normal principles taught in business school. You remember……."Profit and Loss", "debit and credit"; "expenditures and revenues"; but now it's "Voodoo Economics," ticket give-a-ways, empty side pods, empty grandstands, promoters who don't promote and don't care because they live for their NASCAR race. The split brought IndyCar racing so low that NASCAR now rules the roost. Tony may have won his "WAR against the Infidels, the Non Believers". But it was a Pyrrhic Victory. ..Gettysburg 2009!