Team owners deny thoughts of Bernard ouster

Eric Mauk

It is true that an owner is calling others trying to get me fired. I have had several owners confirm this. Disappointing.

Those words, tweeted two days ago by Indy Car CEO Randy Bernard, have stirred a tempest in the Indy Car teapot during this weekend’s Chevrolet Belle Isle Grand Prix.

And while the communication from the series CEO could lead one to believe that the Indy Car owners are massing their forces for a revolt against the young regime, at least some of the series’ team owners aren’t throwing in – at least at the moment.

“I don’t think there’s anything to it. There’s always going to be something for guys to gripe about but all in all, I think Randy’s doing a good job,” said HVM leader Keith Wiggins. “From a commercial standpoint I think that he is the best guy we’ve had in the position in a long time. You can’t lose sight of that. But there are always going to be guys that think that other teams are getting concessions that they aren’t, and with manufacturer competition, guys are always going to be unhappy about something.”

Team owners and leaders could have their pick of things to be upset about, whether it be concessions made for various engine issues to the number of fines given to teams in the series. But as team owner Bryan Herta admitted, even if there are winds of change blowing, the owners don’t have the final say in effecting change.

“What you have to consider is that Randy doesn’t work for the owners,” Herta said. “There isn’t much that the owners could do other than to make suggestions even if they are unhappy about something.”

There is still rampant speculation in the paddock that Panther Racing owner John Barnes is leading a charge for change, and there are sources that say KV Racing co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven has prepared a report that he will present supporting a change. Kalkhoven’s camp has denied the existence of a report, although the former Champ Car owner is not slated to arrive at Belle Isle until this evening, and may address the reports tomorrow.

If there are mutinous thoughts running through the paddock, at the moment they appear to be confined to a select few as at least three owners motorsport.com talked to today denied a push in the paddock for Bernard’s ouster.

“I haven’t heard anything about it except what is in the media,” Herta grinned. “I don’t know if I should be relieved or offended but no one has called me to ask about my support for anything.”

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Series INDYCAR
Tags bernard, indy, indy car