Posts Tagged ‘ Randy Bernard ’

Here we go, this week in INDYCAR and we’re off to the races (well, almost). Starting with the BIG, no HUGE, announcement that Las Vegas Motor Speedway will play host to the races that will crown the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Lights champions– the IZOD IndyCar World Championship. INDYCAR will even up the ante of the IZOD IndyCar Series race by welcoming challengers to a high-stakes shootout on the high-banked oval. Read more about the $5 Million Challenge, which driver do you hope to see bid for their chance to win the IZOD IndyCar World Championship this year?

A better view of the strip.

IZOD IndyCar Series drivers prepared to take on Vegas

For fans, the announcements get even better. Purchase a ticket to any IZOD IndyCar Series race this season and you’re eligible to redeem a ticket to the season finale. Full details will be announced March 1 on IndyCar.com. “This is a time when INDYCAR can tell our fans that we thank them for their support,” said Randy Bernard earlier this week (read more about the ticket offer here). All that remains to be asked is, who’s up for a Vegas Vacation this fall?

IndyCar fans in Milwaukee got a treat on Saturday when driver, Justin Wilson, made an appearance along with the Milwaukee Bucks at the Greater Milwaukee Auto Show and then later in the day joined the NBA franchise for their game against the Chicago Bulls. The appearance is part of a series of other planned community appearances counting down the 110 days remaining until the 2011 Milwaukee Mile.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced that fans ages 9-17 will be able to visit the Gasoline Alley garage area this May 14-28 with the purchase of a Junior Garage Credential. Can’t wait for the Indianapolis 500 in May? Check out TheGreatest33.com in the meantime where fans can sign up for early admission to the interactive (i.e. very cool) Indianapolis 500 website. This year’s race will also feature a noon ET start time (read about it). This week, Sam Schmidt Motorsports announced that  Jay Howard will join them in an attempt to qualify for the 100th anniversary running of the Indianapolis 500. Read more here about Howard’s first attempts to qualify for the Indy 500 in 2010 and what his goals are for the 2011 running. Are you making plans to be at this year’s race too?

Gasoline Alley

Gasoline Alley at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Fans on Twitter may have caught this week’s big announcement that this spring’s the May Indy Tweetup will present the #BeatCancer Bash in support of Racing for Cancer. New to the May Indy Tweetup? Find out what two IndyCar fans with a seemingly endless phone battery life (it’s not easy to tweet as often as you eat) and a huge passion for racing launched in 2010 and have planned for 2011.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, an ambassador for Racing for Cancer, lent his support this past week for a cross-country bike ride to raise funds and awareness for cancer. Read more about the driver’s efforts here. It’s always cool to keep tabs on what drivers are doing outside of the track, but, speaking of racing…

We’re a month away from St. Pete (a month? No, no, 25 days to be precise) and plans are underway for the party (read more here). And the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach announced this week at on April 16, a star-studded field will race over 10 laps on the Long Beach street circuit in identically prepared, race-ready Scion tCs. Get a look at the celeb line-up here.

Scenic

The overhead view of the temporary street circuit in St. Petersburg for the 2010 Honda Grand Prix of St. Pete.

But first comes testing (Testing? What? Why? Read more here). It’s close, oh so close and we’re ready to watch. Team Penske’s Will Power, Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves, along with KV Racing Technology-Lotus drivers E.J. Viso and Takuma Sato, will join Chip Ganassi’s Charlie Kimball and Vitor Meira for testing on March 1 (as in, only 2 more days). Other drivers will be testing March 9-10 at Sebring International Raceway. All leading up to the March 14-15 Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park. Which driver will you have your eyes on during testing?

Yeah, that’s the ticket

Posted on: February 23, 2011 | Comments(4) | Fans | By: Dave

LAS VEGAS – Racetrack promoters, Phillips-Van Heusen (parent company of IZOD) officials and drivers are on board with the plan unveiled by INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard on Feb. 22 to provide a complimentary ticket to the IZOD IndyCar World Championship on Oct. 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Certainly fans are on board. They just have to purchase a ticket to any IZOD IndyCar Series race this season to be eligible to redeem for a ticket to the season finale. Full details for the ticket promotion will be announced March 1 on indycar.com and 866-INDYCAR. Tickets to the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships go on sale Feb. 25 through Ticketmaster.com.

INDYCAR in Las Vegas

Who's coming to Vegas?

“I think it’s great that the series is giving back to the fans,” said 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series championship runner-up Will Power, driver of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, who attended the announcement at chic Crystals at CityCenter on the Las Vegas Strip. “To give tickets to this race is a very good incentive because they get to come to Vegas on a holiday. To have the stands full of fans will make for a very good atmosphere.”

INDYCAR is the event promoter; it’s a track rental based on a sponsorship model instead of ticket revenue. The combination of exciting racing on the 1.5-mile oval, the championship component, the final event for the current Dallara chassis-Honda engine package, the glamour and allure of visiting Las Vegas should draw quite a crowd.

“This is a time when INDYCAR can tell our fans that we thank them for their support,” Bernard said. “For entertainment, you can’t get any better than Vegas. Competition, it’s going to be some fantastic racing. The economy is great right now and by offering a free ticket to anyone that goes to another event we think gives our fans great value.”

IZOD VP of marketing Mike Kelly said the IZOD IndyCar series already has given the company great return after the first year of the title sponsorship.

“I think our right place continues to be how can we energize the cities around the race weekends and the three weeks leading up to the race or the five weeks leading up to the race,” Kelly said. “And we are looking at Vegas and we are going to keep working, and I’m going to find money and ways to come in here and really tear it up.

“That’s what we do in markets when we go in and I think it’s a perfect one to do it. I can’t imagine what it could be like in five years when you consider kind of a Super Bowl city if you will, what Las Vegas could be like for a championship.

“It’s such a dynamic location. It’s evidence again that we hitched our wagon to the right horse.  This is just more evidence of growth.”

In his 11 months as INDYCAR CEO, Randy Bernard has embraced Indy car racing and learned everything he can about the sport. This weekend, he showed a group of Indianapolis media, including me, what his past life was like by giving us a behind-the-scenes look the Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series.

Randy Bernard being interviewed at PBR

INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard talks with local media at a PBR event

Being “Randy Bernard’s Guest” has its privileges in both places, but that’s not the only thing you get by hanging with him. You quickly find out why he’s been a success everywhere he’s been. Here’s a look at Randy’s two worlds:

PBR: The best bull riders in the world compete at events around the world and risk their lives for cash and prizes.

INDYCAR: Best race drivers in the world compete at events around the world and risk their lives  for cash and prizes.

PBR: Riders come from all over the world, including Australia, Brazil, Canada and the U.S.

INDYCAR: Drivers come from all over the world, including Australia, Brazil, Canada and the U.S.

Conseco Fieldhouse transformed for the PBR event

Conseco FieldHouse in Indianapolis, Indiana prepares for the Professional Bull Riders Event

PBR: Has a Briscoe (Travis)

INDYCAR: Has a Briscoe (Ryan)

PBR: There are two world-class athletes in every eight second ride – the rider and the bull.

INDYCAR: The driver is the only world-class athlete, but races last much longer than eight seconds.

Action shot at the PBR event

Action shot at the PBR event

PBR: Riders are encouraged to climb fences after their ride for safety. One Brazilian rider was called out for not doing so.

INDYCAR: One Brazilian driver doesn’t need encouragement to climb the fence after the race – as long as he wins.

PBR: Unique aroma in the “paddock” and you have to watch where you step.

INDYCAR: Just a unique aroma in the paddock.

A professional bull rider keeps his ride under control

A professional bull rider works to stay on his bull

PBR: Sometimes the bulls get into skirmishs after the event

INDYCAR: Sometimes, A.J. Foyt gets into skirmishes after the event.

PBR: Has a clown who entertains the fans during downtime.

INDYCAR: Ummm, no comment.

A PBR Rider is thrown

Things get rough at the PBR event

PBR: Robson Palermo of Brazil won the Indianapolis event despite a broken ankle. That’s tough.

INDYCAR: Buddy Lazier of Colorado won the Indy 500 a few weeks after breaking his back. That’s tough.

Racing, it seems, isn’t all that different from bull riding.

Kicking up dirt

More action from the Professional Bull Riders event

This week was full of signs of a quickly-approaching INDYCAR season. With IndyCars back on the track testing, Pace Cars on the move, and members of the Indy 500 Centennial Troops Tour making their way back to the U.S. from Europe and the Middle East, fans have plenty to be excited about.

The first open test is on March 14 at Barber Motorsports Park but some teams have already been out testing new drivers and new techniques. Photos and rumors circulated online this week with teams eager to get back on track for the 2011 season. Newman/Haas Racing completed a two-day test at the 1.65-mile Sebring International Raceway road course with Canadian rookie James Hinchcliffe (Read more here).

Milwaukee Mile embarked on bringing the excitement of their 2011 pace car to Milwaukee-area hotspots including University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. The event asks fans to find their Pace Car and e-mail of photo of you and the car. They will post the photos to their website and fans get a chance to win 1 race ticket. INDYCAR races at the Milwaukee Mile on June 18th and 19th, so fans have plenty of time to spot the Pace Car and win. See where the Pace Car has been so far, here.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Chevrolet unveiled the 2011 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, AZ. The car, a Camaro Convertible, was then auctioned off on Saturday, January 22 with live coverage provided by SPEED and proceeds benefitting the David Foster Foundation. The winning bidder (with a bid of $225,000 USD) also received the opportunity to drive the Pace Car on a Parade Lap at the Indianapolis 500. As one fan put it, “Only $225k for the chance of a lifetime? Now that’s a deal!”

Two-Time Indianapolis 500 Winner, Arie Luyendyk and David Foster

Two-Time Indianapolis 500 Winner, Arie Luyendyk, Prepares to Drive David Foster and the 2011 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car onto the Auction Block

Going from Pace Cars to politics, the Indianapolis 500 Centennial Troops Tour contingency has made their way back to the States after spreading goodwill to troops stationed in the Middle East and Europe. Amazing photo and videos emerged from the tour and can still be viewed on the IndyCar YouTube and Flickr pages. Through the tour, Mario Andretti provided continuous coverage for USA Today, Sarah Fisher for ESPN for Women, and Al Unser Jr. for ESPN. Their articles and a running story on IndyCar.com provided fans with an inside look at the tour.

Jack Arute, Martin Plowman, and Davey Hamilton pose with soldiers at the USO Warrior Center

Jack Arute, Martin Plowman, and Davey Hamilton pose with soldiers at the USO Warrior Center

Penske Racing driver, Helio Castroneves, jetted off to Brazil and spoke with the Mayor of São Paulo, Gilberto Kassab, and discussed the upcoming Sao Paulo Indy 300. “Mayor Kassab has always been open to suggestion on how to improve the Sao Paulo Indy 300,” said Castroneves. Read the full article here.

At the same time, IndyCar CEO, Randy Bernard, was sitting down with SPEED.com this week to explain oval restarts for the 2011 season. “We want to do what’s in the best interest of the series,” said Bernard. “I don’t think our drivers realized how many fans wanted this two-abreast restart and we want to make sure to do it in a way our fans approve.” See more of what Randy Bernard had to say here.

We might be a few months away from the official start to the 2011 INDYCAR season, but the signs of the season are everywhere and INDYCAR is sliding into gear.

CEO taken for a ride

Posted on: June 5, 2010 | Comments(6) | Race Tracks, Randy Bernard | By: Dave

“Wow!”

Indy Racing League CEO Randy Bernard isn’t usually a man of few words, but that one sufficed after exiting the Indy Racing Experience two-seater at Texas Motor Speedway. Johnny Rutherford was the driver for four laps on the 1.5-mile, high-banked oval a few hours before the Firestone 550K.

Top speed was about 175 mph – about 40 mph slower than Ryan Briscoe’s four-lap pole average – and Bernard felt the G forces that pinned him to the right side of the stretched Dallara.
In 15 years as CEO of the Professional Bull Riders, Bernard hadn’t once boarded a mechanical bull. Three months into the IZOD IndyCar Series gig and he’s taken a wild ride.

“I’ve never had an experience like that in my life,” Bernard says. “I can’t even fathom going faster than we did. I was blown away with how fast we were going, and to know that Johnny can still go that fast was amazing.”

Johnny Rutherford and Randy Bernard

Johnny Rutherford and Randy Bernard

The three-time Indianapolis 500 champion wasn’t about to take the jab without landing a left hook.

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[ADMIN NOTE: A couple of weeks ago, prior to the race in Kansas, we solicited questions from our fans on Facebook for an interview we were preparing with Indy Racing League CEO, Randy Bernard. We received around 100 questions and from those, grabbed a handful. The following video is Randy responding to your questions. Please let us know what you think, because we plan on continuing this video series throughout the season. And, feel free to add your questions as comments in this post. Enjoy.]

Dual titles and driver reactions

Posted on: April 29, 2010 | Comments(8) | Drivers | By: Dave

Of course IZOD IndyCar Series drivers like the dual titles (road/street courses and ovals) within the IZOD IndyCar Series championship initiative. It’s potentially more money to purchase iPads and Ritmo Mundo watches for everyone on their extensive Christmas lists. Indy Racing League CEO Randy Bernard on April 27 announced the implementation of contests to recognize the highest-scoring oval driver and corresponding road/street circuit driver. The champion of each discipline will receive a TBD cash award along with a trophy named in honor of an Indy car racing legend. Over time, that likely will be more meaningful than the dough.

Randy Bernard with the fans

New Indy Racing League CEO Randy Bernard

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