AP source: Barfield new IndyCar race director
The IndyCar Series has selected Beaux Barfield as its new director for racing, according to a person familiar with the hiring.
Barfield will be introduced during a news conference Wednesday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the person told the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the formal announcement has yet to be made.
He replaces Brian Barnhart, who lost race control responsibilities last month.
Barfield spent the last four years as race director of ALMS sports car series and was the race steward for the now-defunct Champ Car Series from 2003-2007. He then moved to the Formula Atlantic Series for two seasons and then ALMS. A former race car driver, Indy Lights Series was his highest level of competition.
Barfield will oversee a reworking of IndyCar’s rule book. Although Barnhart was criticized by drivers for alleged arbitrary calls, the relaxed rule book contributed to the inconsistencies.
IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard had been searching for a new race director since relieving Barnhart of his duties after a dramatic 2011 season.
Barnhart was under fire most of the season after a handful of decisions cost him the respect of the drivers. In two very public incidents, Will Power was caught on live television making an obscene gesture toward the race control tower at New Hampshire, and Helio Castroneves called Barnhart a “circus clown” in a Twitter rant.
Power was furious when Barnhart decided to resume racing at New Hampshire despite driver protests it was raining too hard. The slick conditions caused a crash on the restart that collected Power, who infamously flashed his two middle fingers toward Barnhart.
Barnhart admitted his error after the race _ “You’re just kind of sick to your stomach and realize it was an error on race control’s standpoint and, clearly, my fault,” he said _ but he was lampooned for the call and never restored his credibility.
About six weeks later, three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Castroneves took to Twitter to vent about Barnhart penalizing him for passing under yellow in Japan. He complained Barnhart was inconsistent in penalizing some drivers and not others, changed the rule book when it was convenient and blamed Barnhart for “bringing down an entire series.”