Yankees Chairman Hank Steinbrenner, 63

Yankees Chairman Hank Steinbrenner
Hank Steinbrenner (center), pictured here with son George Michael IV (left) and Mike Harding (right), died Tuesday. (IndyCar photo)

NEW YORK — Henry “Hank” Steinbrenner, the father of NTT IndyCar Series team co-owner George Michael Steinbrenner IV and the co-owner and chairman of the New York Yankees, died Tuesday after a longstanding health issue.

He was 63.

Steinbrenner was in declining health prior to his passing, in the midst of his 11th season as co-chairman of one of the most-successful teams in Major League Baseball’s long history.

He was the oldest son of George Steinbrenner, who purchased the Yankees in 1973, and along with the rest of his family took charge of the team after the turn of the millennium.

While his support was less obvious in the racing world, it was no less fierce compared to his passion for baseball. Steinbrenner was a staunch supporter of his son George Michael IV’s interest in racing and aided him in forming Steinbrenner Racing, which launched in 2018.

Colton Herta began in Indy Lights as the main driver of interest for the Steinbrenner Racing squad, graduating to the NTT IndyCar Series the following year and earning two victories, including a breakthrough win at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, in early 2019.

While the team’s 2019 endeavors came as a co-entrant under the guise of Harding Steinbrenner Racing, this season’s plans came with a shift underneath the Andretti Autosport umbrella, forming Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Racing with Herta at the wheel.

Despite the loss of Hank Steinbrenner, the Andretti-Harding-Steinbrenner team will continue on as planned, fielding the No. 88 entry for Herta, a second-generation driver.

“It’s with great sadness I share the news of the passing of my father, Henry George “Hank” Steinbrenner II,” George Michael IV said. “Ever since I can remember, my dad has always been my biggest supporter. He taught me determination, confidence and the desire to win above all else. Being a massive racing fan himself, when I sought to start a racing team, he stood in my corner the whole way. I will forever be grateful for all the lessons he taught me. I look forward to the day we are able to return to the track and race to win in his honor. Until then, my heart is with my family, our race team and the entire Yankees organization. Thank you to all for your kind words and support in this time.”

“We extend our deepest condolences to George Michael IV and the Steinbrenner family during this very difficult time,” added Penske Entertainment CEO Mark Miles. “Hank’s passion for sports, business and philanthropy is reflected in the continued energy, commitment and leadership George IV brings to IndyCar. Our entire racing community is saddened by this loss and will keep the Steinbrenner’s in our thoughts and prayers.”