IndyCar Will Know By This Weekend If Season-Ending $5M Promo Has Any Takers
IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard “should know by this weekend” whether the Izod IndyCar Series "will follow through on its promotion to post a $5 million bounty for a win by a non-series regular” at the season-ending race in Las Vegas, according to Nate Ryan of USA TODAY. Action sports star Travis Pastrana was committed to race “before breaking his ankle in last month’s X Games.” Bernard Saturday said that IndyCar "was looking at only two others: NASCAR’s Kasey Kahne and former CART champ Alex Zanardi” (USA TODAY, 8/31).
ON THE RIGHT TRACK? CBSSPORTS.com's Pete Pistone wrote “at one time when the Indy Car Series was known as the IRL the core of the circuit was a series of high-speed oval track events that were as exhilarating as any form of racing in motorsports.” But rather than "build on those phenomenal events the series business plan moved away and back to the mix of road races and circuit events that did bring more diversity to the schedule but did so at the cost of competition.” The inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix is this weekend, and events like this “will draw a good-sized crowd and more than likely be deemed a financial success.” But Pistone added, "Odds are the actual event itself will be more single file parade than memorable race as is the case with most affairs held on narrow street circuits” (CBSSPORTS.com, 8/30).
TAKING CHARGE: In Indianapolis, Curt Cavin wrote Bernard publicly supported Izod IndyCar Series President of Competition & Racing Operations Brian Barnhart last weekend "because there is no middle ground for any boss." Bernard "either has to back Brian 100 percent or move him, it’s that simple." Cavin added, "There are countless hours year-round in the office, and that can’t be replaced by someone like Rick Mears, who doesn’t want to spend 60-70 hours a week at a desk in Indianapolis. Now if you want a different chief steward for the races, that’s another issue, but it’s going to cost IndyCar a least $10,000 a race weekend and I don’t think it’s in the budget. Plus, if Brian is replaced there, he probably goes altogether, and right now Randy isn’t in a position to fill those duties” (INDYSTAR.com, 8/30).