Elmer George

Elmer George

15/7/1928 - 30/5/1976

Cowboy turned racer, George married Mari Hulman George, daughter of Tony Hulman, owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He raced in the 500 three times. Father of Tony George, founder of the Indy Racing League and current CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, he died in an exchange of gunfire with Guy Trolinger, a horse trainer at his Terre Haute farm, a month after Mari had filed for divorce.

Cowboy turned racer, Elmer George married Mari Hulman George, daughter of Tony Hulman, owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, on April 29, 1957. He raced in the “500” three times from 1955-64, with a best finish of 17th in 1962.

He met with little success as a driver and in 1963 he retired from racing and moved to a Wyoming dude ranch to raise a family. He later becoming the Speedway vice-president and head of the IMS Radio Network.

Elmer and Mari's son is Tony George, founder of the Indy Racing League, and current CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For most of the couple's marriage, they owned a farm outside of Terre Haute, but spent much of their time at their 1,300-acre ranch in Wyoming.

On May 3, 1976, Mari filed for divorce after 19 years of marriage. Twenty-eight days later, on May 31, the day of that year's Indianapolis 500, Elmer George argued bitterly by telephone from the family's Speedway penthouse with a horse trainer at the family's Terre Haute farm, Guy Trolinger, whom Elmer had fired.

The argument didn't end over the phone. Elmer drove to the farm following the race and confronted Trolinger personally. Details are sketchy, but gunfire ensued, with local police reporting that the two exchanged as many as 17 shots. George was shot 5 times and died in the exchange, but, interestingly, the Vigo County Grand Jury refused to indict Trolinger, agreeing with his argument that he had acted in self-defense.

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