And they're coming to take me away, ha ha - They're coming to take me away ho ho he he ha ha - sang in 1966 by Napoleon XIV.
Everyone gets paranoid at some time or another but it seems Randy Bernard, CEO of IndyCar, thinks someone is out to get him … and he may be right.
And how do we know this? Good 'ol Twitter - Bernard tweeted as much when he stated: "@RBINDYCAR#INDYCAR @indycar it is true that an owner is calling others trying to get me fired. I have had several owners confirm this. disappointing"
This 'disappointing' situation may take some of the luster off the incredible Indy 500 glow after a record amount of passes saw Dario Franchitti hold on for the dramatic win.
Old is new again
Now we've been down this road before. Prior to Bernard taking the helm, the head of IndyCar since its inception was Tony George, who was eventually dismissed by the Indy Board of Directors (the Hulman family). This is Bernard's third season.
Tony George has become a part-owner in his stepson's IndyCar team (Ed Carpenter Racing). We mention George because according to Robin Miller of SpeedTV, George is heading a revolt along with John Barnes, Michael Andretti and Kevin Kalkhoven. Yes, George and Kalkhoven, who were adversaries during the IndyCar/ChampCar civil war, is amazing.
As Miller states, Brian Barnhart is these owners' choice as a replacement. I looked at this story with an open mind until I heard that they wanted Barnhart. Brian Barnhart!? Is this the same Brian Barnhart who last season singlehandedly almost wiped out the entire field in the rain at New Hampshire - Andretti called it "the worst officiating I've ever seen."
The angst and speculation were created after Honda was given a turbo boost advantage over Chevrolet. All of the listed names looking to string up Bernard are Chevy owners. Roger Penske, another Chevy owner who was initially upset at the ruling for Honda's turbos, is behind Bernard (source - Chicago Sun-Times).
Understand that racecar owners and racing series' seldom get along. It's just the nature of the sport. Parity is usually the objective of a racing series while an owner wants what is best for his race team.
If George is sowing discontent, that may be merely sour grapes. Where this dissension leads to down the road is up for conjecture but certainly there's some sort of trouble brewing. Personally, I was uncertain if someone like Bernard, who had no background in racing, could turn the sport around but most indications are positive at this point with the series heading towards expected feasibility.
Hopefully the disagreements can be placated and IndyCar can take their upbeat momentum from the Indy 500 and continue to grow. Otherwise, paranoia will settle in again and the series will sink back into the abyss.
Sources - IndyCar, SpeedTV
Daryle has been involved in motorsports most of his life and has three decades of experience inside racemarketing, plus for several years has blogged about every type of racing.
- Motor Racing
- Sports & Recreation
- Tony George
- Randy Bernard
- Brian Barnhart