Tuesday, February 2, 2010

CEO and DRR, E-I-E-I-O

The two big IndyCar announcements so far this week are:

1.) Randy Bernard is the new CEO of the Indy Racing League.  If you haven't heard, Mr. Bernard's last gig was as the CEO of Professional Bull Riders (PBR).  He has helmed that organization since 1995, and has taken it from a small group of cowboys to a national touring series with title sponsorship from Ford, international events in Brazil (where many of their riders are from), and a TV contract with Versus.  So there might be some expertise there that the IRL can use.  Or maybe the Indy 500 will be paced by a bull.  One or the other.  I'm bullish on this choice (OK, I'll stop now) because what the IRL needs more than anything is someone who has a proven track record of promoting a niche sport and making it profitable for the participants.  He also has the added benefit of not having been in racing from 1996 through 2007, so he not only doesn't have a side in the never-ending and annoying "Split" arguments - he may not even be aware there's a argument going on.  So if anyone can rope these teams (sorry, did it again) into a herd (I'm sorry!) and get them moving up the trail (Doh!) toward a common goal, it might just be this guy.  He addresses IndyCar fans here:

2.) Justin Wilson and Mike Conway have been announced as Dreyer & Reinbold Racing's two drivers for 2010.  Wilson is a proven winner, and Conway is a proven customer of Dallara's spare parts service.  Seriously, by the time this season is over, Justin Wilson will be sixth in points with one win, and Conway will have left a Dad's Root Beer decal at the exit of turn four at every track he's seen.  In all seriousness, this is a great pairing.  After a couple of years of piecing together a team from a group of partial-schedule drivers and Milka Duno, it looks like DRR will go into 2010 as a funded two-car effort with a pair of talented drivers, one of whom is probably a championship-level talent.  Where this leaves Dale Coyne, we don't know.  A week ago, the prevailing assumption was that DCR was working on a two-car effort with Wilson coming back.  Now, it looks like a one-car effort with the Boy Scouts entry.  And we don't know how funded that ride actually is.  Stay tuned.

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