Mari Hulman George, Indy's quiet pioneer, dies at 83

(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

(AP) -- Mari Hulman George, the "quiet pioneer" of auto racing who was instrumental in the expansion of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and became known to millions of fans over the years as the one who ordered countless drivers to start their engines before races, died Saturday. She was 83.

Hulman George, the speedway's chairman of the board emeritus, died in Indianapolis with her family at her side, the speedway said in a statement.

"Our mother was such a unique, wonderful person. She loved her family, friends, auto racing and animals with equal passion," said Tony George, current chairman of IMS. "She was a quiet pioneer in so many ways, from owning a race team in the 1950s and 1960s to overseeing a period of tremendous growth and evolution while chairman of the board at IMS."

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