A confidential source outside the IndyCar Series has informed us that IZOD IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard has been fired from the series today. Details are sketchy and few, so we won’t repeat them until they can be corroborated.
Bernard, who came to the series in 2010, was formerly head of the Professional Bull Rider series. His strengths are definitely in promotion and management. What undoubtedly hurts Bernard in doing the very tough job running IndyCar is his lack of experience with the various nuances of professional auto racing. We are an insular lot at best and it was suggested that Bernard be given a number two in the Executive Suite who knows racing to make this deficiency less of a liability.
Behind the scenes during the 2012 season there were constant rumors of a team owner coup by such heavyweights as Chip Ganassi and Roger Penske to oust Bernard. To our knowledge, both men denied any such shenanigans, but after initial denials, the rumors surfaced again. This time it was rumors of an attempted Tony George led consortium that wanted to buy Indy Car.
Bernard was widely criticized for going public the first time rumors of an owners' coup surfaced, and was told by many in the racing community to not go public with the rumors. He did not do it this time, and it may have been to his detriment. It is certainly difficult to lead any company when rumors of your demise are so prevalent.
We will wait for an official statement before discussing how this happened and reviewing Randy Bernard’s many contributions to the series.