IndyCar » Barnhart out of race control in 2012

Brian Barnhart will no longer be in charge of race control for IndyCar events in 2012, following a year of growing controversy and dissatisfaction with race officiating.

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Julie - Unregistered

November 30, 2011 7:28 PM

I find it interesting that a lot of fans seem to think the removal of Barnhart from RC is going to solve the problem. Lets remeber that there were usually 3 people in RC & problems still happened.
Do I think Barnhart was perfect...NO! He made mistakes but I also think fans sometimes screamed about bad/inconsistent calls when it was more the fact that they did not agree with the call. The Toronto race jumps to mind. Everyone screamed about the lack of penalty on Dario Franchitti but seemed to ignore the fact the Ryan Briscoe pulled the same move and received no penalty or Marco Andretti dive bombs turn 1 on a restart and took out 5 cars...improving his finishing position by 5 places with no penalty.


November 30, 2011 7:33 PM
Last Edited 1616 days ago

Good. This took waaay too long.


er, you just proved everyone's point in your post. You just named 3 incidents that didn't have a penalty but the same thing happens in a different race and there are penalties. There was no consistancy. And yes there maybe more than 1 person in Race Control but Barnhart was in charge and therefore he is the one that's responsibility. He should have been fired.

Frank G

November 30, 2011 8:18 PM

Good decision.
About time!
Agree with you RawDawg and yes Julie... your comment does prove that the decision was more than overdue.
Hopefully they nominate a former racer. Open wheel preferably with road and oval experience.
One if the Unsers or Andretti's for example?

Julie - Unregistered

November 30, 2011 9:35 PM

RawDawg - Inconsistencies in officiating are a part of racing. You see it in F1 all the time and they have a panel of judges in race control.

What separates a racing incident from avoidable contact? Who makes that determination? There will always be things that are open to interpretation which will lead to inconsistencies. Replacing the guy in Race Control will not change that.

For me, I am happy if the rules are consistently enforced within each race...consistency between races is less of a concern for me...but that is my opinion.

Julie - Unregistered

November 30, 2011 9:50 PM

Frank G - The problem is no one want to do the job. That was the big topic of discussion when Barnhart first started making bad calls. It is a difficult/thankless job that is under constant scrutiny/harrassment from fans and media. Look at the way Al Unser Jr was treated after Toronto. People were vicious! Do you really think anyone with the name Unser wants to do the job after that? You can't put an Andretti in there as long as Marco is driving and Micheal owns a team...too much potential for people to scream favoritism.

Most of the names being thrown around are people who I can not see giving up their current gig to do the least not without a substantial paycheck and Indycar does not have that kind of money right now.


November 30, 2011 10:28 PM


So, since F1 makes terrible calls on a weekly basis than it's ok for IndyCar to do the same? That is what you just said right? Sorry, but it is not acceptable to be inconsistant with calls and rulings.

What separates a racing incident from avoidable contact? A racing incident is when 2 or more people are racing hard that so happen to make contact. Racing incidents are what mostly happen. "Avoidable contact" is when someone makes a bonehead attempt to over take or defend their positon. Take the example you used in your first post. If you can use the term "dive bomb" to discribe Marco's or any driver's move than 20 out of 20 times it was avoidable and driver error. If someone tries to pass coming from 3 car lenghts back, sideways with tires squaling, dive bombing with caution to the wind, and you can see a mile away that they have no hope pulling off the pass than that's avoidable. Who makes that determination? Race Coontrol. That's why they are called "Race Control".

Frank G

December 01, 2011 3:51 AM

Unser or Andretti were only examples. I wouldn't expect any member of either family doing this job for whatever reason you mentioned. They were the first 2 that came to my mind.
Maybe something like F1, invite am ex experienced driver for each race...

Mike McInerney

December 01, 2011 5:05 AM
Last Edited 1615 days ago

Give the job to AJ Foyt - he knew all about all the tricks and scenarios that occurred in Indy and CART days.

And he wasn't beyond sorting out anyone behind the Steward's Box if the occasion arose!!!!!!


Maxx - Unregistered

December 02, 2011 6:02 PM

Why not Johnny Rutherford? He is a respected former driver. He has been the pace car driver for years, so he is in touch with today's racing, and drivers. He seems to still have a great passion for Indy Car racing.

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