FRANCHITTI SAYS INDYCAR SERIES WILL GO ON
Justin Wilson and Dario Franchitti say IndyCar Series will go on despite change at the top
Solomon Crenshaw Jr.
October 29, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Despite the change that came Sunday at top of INDYCAR, life goes on according to two of five IZOD IndyCar Series drivers in town today for testing at Barber Motorsports Park.
"As far as the race teams, drivers, we're looking to the future, 2013," said Justin Wilson of Dale Coyne Racing. "We're still going to be racing, we're still going to be on track.
"It's a shame because Randy did put in a lot of hard work," Wilson continued. "He got a lot of things right, he got things wrong. That's just part of doing that job. As far as we're concerned, life goes on. We'll be here racing and hopefully fans will still come out and see us."
The Associated Press reported that Randy Bernard stepped down as CEO of IndyCar on Sunday, bringing an end to a three-year reign that was disrupted this season by several attempts by team owners to have him ousted as head of the series.
The decision was announced following an executive session conducted by teleconference Sunday by the 11-member Indianapolis Motor Speedway board of directors.
Jeff Belskus, the president of IMS and president and CEO of Hulman & Co., will step in as interim CEO of the IndyCar Series. Bernard, who has two years remaining on the contract he signed when he joined IndyCar in 2010, will stay on in an advisory position.
Dario Franchitti, another of the driver in town for testing, said today that he knows little about what's happened.
"I'm in the dark and that's unfortunate," the Chip Ganassi Racing driver said. "We're sitting here talking about the politics of the sport when, in my opinion, we should be celebrating that it was such a great season."
That season was highlighted, Franchitti said, by fans getting that for which they have been clamoring - an American champion.
"They got one," he said. "Ryan Hunter-Reay did a fantastic job this year and nobody's talking about it. Everybody's talking about this. It's disappointing. I think it's very unfortunate the way Randy was treated but it's not going to change the on-track stuff. It's still the same on-track product."
Wilson said Bernard did a good job in a tough situation.
"It's a very, very difficult job to do," he said. "I wouldn't want that job. You have to thank him for all the hard work he's put in. Now we've just got to keep doing what we do. IndyCar is still here. Hopefully if they get the organization sorted out, we can move forward with it."