MOORESVILLE, N.C. — There is a new CEO for the IndyCar Series and it’s a man who admits he has never been to an IndyCar race in his life.
Randy Bernard will be announced as the CEO of IndyCar tomorrow (Feb. 2) at 2 p.m. The 43-year-old Bernard is currently the CEO of the Professional Bull Riders, Inc. and will take over a role that had previously been offered to Indy Racing League founder Tony George, who turned it down last June.
NSSN spoke to Bernard on Saturday night, but at that point he was waiting until Monday to make his final decision.
“The board of directors of the PBR gave me until Monday to make my decision and out of respect to them I waited to do that,” Bernard said. “I will make the decision by Monday. I’m very intrigued by the opportunity and I’m very honored they offered it to me, but I really want to do my homework.
“I want to look people in the eyes and see if they want to work with me and make it (IndyCar) bigger. I love the PBR and want to make sure I make the right decision. I want to take that all the way to the end to make sure I make the right decision.”
Monday morning, he informed Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation CEO Jeff Belskus that he had accepted the position.
However, that leaves IndyCar Series president of commercial development Terry Angstadt in limbo. Angstadt was reached by telephone Saturday night in Orlando, Fla., and indicated that his role may be duplicated by Bernard, who will now be at the top of the IndyCar Series executive chart.
“It wouldn’t be fair for me to comment on anybody,” Bernard said. “At this point it wouldn’t be fair to anybody to talk about that now.”
Angstadt said Saturday night, “We’ll make it work” but did indicate the two positions may be redundant.
“As long as I have a meaningful role to play, I’m not leaving, but I’m not naive. That is his call,” Angstadt said of Bernard. “In the last year we have brought significant money into the IndyCar Series. We’re just getting started.”
Angstadt was key in striking deals with APEX/Brazil, IZOD taking over as the first series sponsor in 10 years and a race in Brazil. Those three deals are estimated to bring in $15 million annually to the IndyCar Series.
As for choosing Bernard, it was not to fill a role, not to replace any member of management already on staff.
“Randy comes with a strong CEO background which compliments well with the expertise that Terry Angstadt has,” said a source close to the situation. “The conclusion that we have come is somebody has to be in charge. We need accountability.”