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Bernard 'wanted to get in front of problem'

IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard has defended his decision to use Twitter to publicly confirm rumours of an alleged plot by Chevy team owners to oust him from his job.
IndyCar boss Randy Bernard has insisted that it was the right call to use Twitter to confirm rumours that one or more of the Chevrolet-backed team owners in the series was trying to organise a campaign to have him removed as chief executive of the series.

Last Tuesday, after the Indianapolis 500, Bernard posted a message on the social networking site confirming the rumours that had been circulating about a plot to oust him: "It is true that an owner is calling others trying to get me fired. I have had several owners confirm this. Disappointing," he wrote.

"I wanted to get out in front of the problem," Bernard told reporters at Detroit Belle Isle ahead of this weekend's follow-up event to the Indianapolis 500, insisting that it hadn't been a spur of the moment knee-jerk response to the problem.

"I had seven days to think about how I wanted to put it out," he said. "I didn't want to take anything away from the Indy 500.

"I felt like dead man walking," he admitted, referring to the behind-the-scenes mutterings that had been going on during May. "My mentality is, if you back a kitten into a corner, you come out fighting like a tiger. And that's how I operate," he added.

Bernard's strategy seems to have been to drag any brewing plots out into the full glare of the media spotlight, and dare the car owners to actually go to war or else to back down: put up or shut up, in other words. He also wanted to get a comprehensive sign of support from the board of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation who actually appointed him to his existing five-year contract just over two years ago in 2010.

If that was the idea then it seems to have worked, with public opposition quickly falling away at the same time that worried team owners were falling over themselves to get some distance from the plot rumours, even if it meant implicitly endorsing Bernard's stewardship of the IZOD IndyCar Series.

"For those accusing me of being a conspirator, I am not the one talking and creating this story," said owner-driver Ed Carpenter on Twitter, who was seen by fans as one of the likely suspects because of his family ties to former Indy Racing League boss Tony George, his stepfather.

"Very disappointed in Robin Miller reporting things before knowing the truth! There is no lynch mob!" tweeted Michael Andretti, referring to the outspoken SPEED TV correspondent who had identified Andretti as a likely leader of the so-called conspiracy. "The truth is I'm not leading any lynching!"




Related Pictures

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Former ALMS race director Beaux Barfield is appointed race director for the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2012 by CEO Randy Bernard. [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Randy Bernard at the announcement of the GoDaddy.com IndyCar Challenge. [Photo Credit: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media]
IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard [Picture credit: IndyCar Media]
Matt Brabham tests with Andretti Autosport at Iowa Speedway
Matt Brabham tests with Andretti Autosport at Iowa Speedway
Matt Brabham tests with Andretti Autosport at Iowa Speedway
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Degree Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, raced to a sixth-place finish Saturday, June 27, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Sage Karam, driver of the #8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Records Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, races to a fifth-place finish Saturday, June 27, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, races to a fourth-place finish Saturday, June 27, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 races to a second-place finish Saturday, June 27, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan, and Graham Rahal go three-wide going into Turn 1 during the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The podium of Graham Rahal, Tony Kanaan, and Marco Andretti hoist their trophies on Victory Lane following the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on Saturday, June 27 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The podium of Graham Rahal, Tony Kanaan, and Marco Andretti hoist their trophies on Victory Lane following the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on Saturday, June 27 2015. (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Marco Andretti on pit lane after qualifications for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves and Marco Andretti go side-by-side during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Penske Truck Rental Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates capturing the pole position during qualifying Friday, June 26, 2015, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Penske Truck Rental Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates capturing the pole position during qualifying Friday, June 26, 2015, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Penske Truck Rental Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest Friday, June 26, 2015, capturing the pole position for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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