This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.
The death of Mari Hulman George means another piece of racing’s golden past is gone.
First, she was chairman emeritus of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The facility and The 500 are global icons in motor racing.
I didn’t know her but, from what I read, Hulman George didn’t have a personality that would tolerate tokenism. She didn’t seem like anyone’s pawn.
She had a compassion to help. While reading about her death Saturday at the age of 83 I read about her helping African American drivers at a time when so many wouldn’t.
She put Joie Ray in one of her sprint cars when nearly everyone else didn’t want him at the track at all. Joie Ray was a brilliant driver who was shut out when slower drivers got chances in faster cars.
She also helped Willie T. Ribbs become the first Black driver to make it into the Indy 500 field. Ribbs this week called her genuine. Her passion for diversity in racing will be missed.