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SBD/December 19, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Published December 19, 2011
UPHILL BATTLE: In L.A., Jim Peltz writes IndyCar and its CEO Randy Bernard "must overcome several issues still weighing on their effort to boost the sport's popularity." The series "is rolling out a new race car whose ultimate performance is yet unknown," and the job "of series race director remains unfilled." IndyCar is "grappling to find a financially viable balance of races on oval tracks and those on twisty street and road courses." Bernard said, "We need to take a step back and truly understand what our fans want to see on those ovals, because the product we were providing -- besides the Indy 500 and Texas and Iowa -- we've had marginal success at best." IndyCar has not replaced President of Competition & Racing Brian Barnhart, but Bernard said a successor "has to be in place before the first of the year. ... We're very close to selecting one" (L.A. TIMES, 12/19).
HEIR TO THE THRONE: YAHOO SPORTS' Jonathan Wall wrote with each passing event, the LPGA's Lexi Thompson "continues to look more and more like the real deal." Thompson won the European Tour's Dubai Ladies Masters Saturday, and the LPGA "has been waiting [for] a young star to come along and shake up the tour." Wall: "For the longest time everyone thought that was Michelle Wie. But after watching Thompson hoist the trophy on Saturday in Dubai, maybe we were wrong all along. For the moment it looks like a 16-year-old with an extremely bright future is the tour's heir apparent" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 12/17).