This all happened even though president of competition Derrick Walker was there Sunday. He’d missed Friday and Saturday while running his ALMS team, an agreement reached when he took the job and continues even though he has admitted IndyCar is understaffed and needs significant technology upgrades.
Almost a year after the Hulman & Co. board of directors ousted CEO Randy Bernard, little progress has been made with IndyCar. In fact, some might argue the series has taken a step or two backward.
The board elevated member Mark Miles in late November to CEO of Hulman & Co., but not much has been accomplished so far under his watch beyond the recently announced road course race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Conversely, the race at Baltimore is falling off the schedule after three years, there appears to be questions about the future of the event in Brazil and the 2014 schedule has yet to be released. Series sponsor Izod is leaving at the end of the season, and Miles has yet to fill the role of head of IndyCar and IMS’ commercial division _ the person who would likely be trying to replace Izod.
Miles has been turned down at least once for the job _ by motorsports marketing executive Zak Brown _ and former Ganassi executive Tom Garfinkel chose president and chief executive officer of the Miami Dolphins over any serious conversations with IndyCar.
It’s going to be a tough position for Miles to fill because of the current structure. Miles is effectively in charge while day-to-day operations are split between Walker and the yet-to-be hired commercial person.
With two heads having equal power, it’s almost certain that team owners would take sides and align themselves with one or the other. Remember, this is IndyCar and nobody is happy unless they are fighting.
And there’s been a lot of fighting this year between drivers and race control, and it boiled over last month when Dixon was fined $30,000 for calling for the ouster of race director Beaux Barfield. Following Walker’s first week on the job, Sebastian Saavedra was fined $30,000 for flashing his middle fingers at Marco Andretti, Will Power was placed on probation for throwing his gloves at Sebastien Bourdais and Bourdais was placed on probation for comments made toward officials on pit road.
It all seemed a bit excessive for actions that actually had fans talking about IndyCar.
But it wouldn’t be IndyCar if it made any sense.