George shuts down Vision Racing

The checkered flag has dropped on Tony George’s Indy Car team.

George’s open-wheel organization suspended operations

Thursday, according to the

Indianapolis Star. Vision Racing was owned by George, his

wife, and actor Patrick Dempsey.

George’s stepson, Ed Carpenter, drove for the team, which was

started in 2005 when George bought the assets of former IRL team

Kelley Racing.

Vision Racing spokeswoman Pat Caporali says George informed

team members Thursday morning. She said 15-20 workers will be laid

off. Caporali said the IRL founder made the decision because he had

not secured enough sponsors for the 2010 season.

The move is another blow to George’s open-wheel career in an

already tumultuous year for the former team owner. In June 2009,

George resigned as CEO of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which is

owned by his family. He resigned from the speedway’s board two

weeks ago.

He also resigned from his leadership role at the IRL, which

he founded as a more affordable alternative to CART. The move in

1996 to create a new series opened a major riff in U.S. open-wheel

racing that wasn’t repaired until the IRL took over the Champ Car

series in 2008.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.