INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard took the time to become the next participant for our Quick Questions. Of course, Sarah Fisher, INDYCAR (and Mazda Road to Indy) on TV, and those closing comments from State of IndyCar were all brought up. A big thanks to Randy for the responses:
I’m sure you’ve been hearing this from a lot of fans, but there’s still the whole question of the Sarah Fisher engine supply issue. Do you feel confident she will have an engine in place for the opener at St. Pete?
RB: We want to make sure that every team that has the funding, manpower and talent to compete this year will have the opportunity to do so. There is so much interest in the new car that the demand for engines is higher than expected.
In a situation like that, realistically, what can and can’t the series do to help out?
RB: We are in active discussions with all of our manufacturers regarding meeting and exceeding our supply requirements because of the expected high car count to start the season.
How closely is the series working with the NBC Sports Network on the new INDYCAR 36 show?
RB: We are working very closely with NBC Sports on INDYCAR 36, especially on identifying those key drivers and storylines that we feel are a good fit.
Is there a sense yet of which teams and drivers will be featured on that show—will it be throughout the ranks, or weighted toward the top-tier teams?
RB: Our goal is to showcase the drivers with the most compelling stories and personalities. Not only do we want to highlight everything that goes on behind the scenes on race weekend and what makes these drivers the best in the world, we also want our fans to get a better understanding of our drivers outside of the cockpit. Every driver has a great story to tell and INDYCAR 36 is going to be a great platform to do so.
With Firestone Indy Lights now having each of their races on TV, is there any chance we’ll see some air time for series such as Star Mazda in the near future?
RB: Stay tuned for announcements from our Mazda Road to Indy ladder series regarding TV plans for the season. We just announced last week that all 12 Firestone Indy Lights races will be televised on NBC Sports Network this season. We have a great partner with Mazda to groom our future stars, and TV plays an important role in this initiative.
You finished off the State of INDYCAR event with some pretty strong arguments against the doubters out there. Have you heard much feedback on how that portion of it was received?
RB: The response has been positive and motivating. I wanted to utilize my closing speech at the State of INDYCAR to address the critic, the naysayer and point out that we have had some great success, but more importantly to grow our sport, we must move forward unified and positive.