- Associated Press - Friday, May 20, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Randy Bernard’s ideal world would include more IndyCar races in more places and more of the double-file restarts that have drawn some complaints this season.

The series’ CEO said Friday if it was up to him, the schedule would expand to 24 races, feature more international stops and return to Phoenix. He also would keep the restarts despite the criticism.

“Look, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Chip Ganassi and Roger Penske and this was their idea,” Bernard said of the double-file restarts which will debut at Indy on May 29. “This is racing.”

Series officials changed the restarts this season in hopes it would create more excitement among fans, and Bernard believes that’s one reason attendance increased at three of the first four stops _ St. Petersburg, Long Beach and Brazil.

Many drivers and owners contend it’s simply created more wreckage.

And most drivers believe using the double-file concept at Indianapolis, where there’s a small groove, is downright dangerous.

“That’s really stupid,” Canadian Alex Tagliani said earlier this week.

Bernard said Brian Barnhart, IndyCar’s president of competition and racing operations, and Mel Harder, the speedway’s senior vice president of operations, met Friday to discuss their concerns about Indy. He didn’t say what had been decided.

But Bernard isn’t ready to give in to demands to shelve the concept.

“I think our position is it’s going to happen, just like we said at the beginning of the season,” he said.

In addition, Bernard would like to make some changes to future schedules.

He acknowledged the series will consider putting a second race in Brazil and continues to look into the possibility of racing in China, perhaps as early as 2012.

And he’d like to get the series back to Phoenix, which hosted IndyCar races from 1996 through 2005.

But Bernard believes more international races should not come at the expense of the American races on this year’s schedule. Instead, he’d like to expand the schedule.

“I think Phoenix would be a great market, and if I had my way, I’d go there the week before Daytona,” he said.

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