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2017 Point Standings
After Sonoma
Rank Driver Points

1 Josef Newgarden 642
2 Simon Pagenaud 629
3 Scott Dixon 621
4 Helio Castroneves 598
5 Will Power 562
6 Graham Rahal 522
7 Alexander Rossi 494
8 Takuma Sato 441
9 Ryan Hunter-Reay 421
10 Tony Kanaan 403
11 Max Chilton 396
12 Marco Andretti 388
13 James Hinchcliffe 376
14 Ed Jones 354
15 JR Hildebrand 347
16 Carlos Munoz 328
17 Charlie Kimball 327
18 Conor Daly 305
19 Mikhail Aleshin 237
20 Spencer Pigot 218
21 Sebastien Bourdais 214
22 Ed Carpenter 169
23 Gabby Chaves 98
24 Juan Pablo Montoya 93
25 Esteban Gutierrez 91
26 Sebastian Saavedra 80
27 Oriol Servia 61
28 Jack Harvey 57
29 Fernando Alonso 47
30 Pippa Mann 32
31 Zachary Claman DeMelo 26
32 Jay Howard 24
33 Zach Veach 23
34 Sage Karam 23
35 James Davison 21
36 Tristan Vautier 15
37 Buddy Lazier 14

Rookie of Year Standings
1. Ed Jones 354
2. Esteban Gutierrez 91
3. Jack Harvey 57
4. Fernando Alonso 47
5. Zach Veach 23

Manufacturer Standings
1. Chevy 1489
2. Honda 1326

Q&A with IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard

At Long Beach
Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Randy Bernard
What is some of the momentum you see?

I think one measure of our momentum is to see all the different chassis and ideas vying to be the next IndyCar. I think that is very important to see so many people interested. I am meeting with a lot of the OEM and auto manufacturers this week and determining the interest level and how we can help and see where we are at with the open sourcing concept. I think fans want to see open sourcing, and I think a lot of people in the sport do as well.

Every series has pluses and minuses. Have you had a chance to take a look at other series like ALMS, F1 and others?

I am too new in the job right now to look at other racing leagues. Right now our first and foremost thing is creating driver affinity. Anyone who was at our function on Hollywood Boulevard last night witnessed a first class event. I think those are the thing that build driver affinity. The most important thing we can do right now is create stars in the sport. I have seen tremendous amount of research from other leagues including F1 and NASCAR, and the one thing that you see on top of the list of what fans are looking for is those star drivers. There are certain countries in the world where the teams and ownership were just as important. But mostly, driver affinity is the more important connection to the fans.

How do you deal with that with the driver turnover in the current economic conditions?

I think that you definitely want to build a brand and the drivers are important to that brand. I think Ryan Hunter-Reay with his name on his car is building his own brand and identity there. You don't want someone like that to be around one or two years. But if we really have the best drivers in the world, and if you look at the legends in this sport, they all pretty much retired within about a 16 month period. That was a huge blow to the sport. I think we have to maintain these drivers that are part of our brand. Like the Danicas. Danica is a huge star for us, and its important that we do everything we can to make sure we keep her here on our tour. I think it helps us when she goes over to race in NASCAR. It creates awareness of who we are and raises the interest level in our sport. After she ran in NASCAR, then ran in our event in São Paulo Brazil, our ratings were up 76% on Versus, despite losing 15 million households on DirectTV, which we had last year. I think Danica accounts for a piece of that.

The powers that be that hired you. Did they say "take a year to learn everything"

I said to the board when I took the job that I didn't want to me making any major decisions until I had some time to get a good grasp on the sport. I wanted to talk to our management team, I wanted to talk to our sponsors, our team owners and our drivers and have clear understand of what I think is going to be important. Even 7 weeks into the job now, I think I have made one major decision at this point. I knew it wasn't right for me to make the decision, so I create ICONIC to select our car of the future. I think you will see my next decision that I make will come in the next two weeks. I cant really say much, but what I will give you a hint on is that You have the Indianapolis 500, then you have a bunch of vanilla events. Not to take away from this great event here, but it's not a national event, which we need to have two or three majors that stand apart and make them big, big events. I think what we're working on might help with that."

We need events that really separate themselves out from the others. I mean NFL has phenomenal events across the country, but then when you get to the playoffs, those are the ones that take your ratings to a new level.

What is your impression of Long Beach compared to events you have been to so far?

Every event I have been to so far has been so different. I think that Sao Paulo was so different from Barber. You had a phenomenal crowd that is very loud and passionate fan base, where Barber was a NASCAR crowd, no question about it. There were more NASCAR numbers on t-shirts and hats than IndyCar numbers and drivers, which is great because it shows us that we can go into a market like that and do really really well. This event, has blown me away. I have been walking around quite a bit so far and it's packed. I am not sure a lot of these fans here are big racing fans, as they are here taking part in activities. So that will be fun for me to spend more time out there walking around seeing what they are doing and what they are buying.

What was your feeling about possibly being the marquee racing event for the weekend, with the other racing rained out, and the Masters being your media competition?

I think we did really well considering we were up against the Masters. I was more disappointed with the rainout in St. Pete. We had a chance to have a great Sunday event there, and got caught out by the rain. Which was unfortunate.

Is there any chance that IndyCars might run on the road course in Indy for a second event on the calendar?

You know that is twice in 20 minutes that question has come up. I think the speedway itself would have to have a lot of say in that, but I think that we all know there is a great interest there, and there is a great road course there. So does it makes sense to run on the road course to showcase the diversity of the sport? So I would not rule it out.

How many discussions are you having with sponsors in other forms of racing, emphasizing the value of IndyCar racing over the competition?

I think I would get myself in trouble by answering that. But I do think that the one thing we have to do is bring value to the sponsors, and if we can do that and offer them something they can't get somewhere else, then we will be very successful. I think we have to deliver better ratings and more fans at our races, and that will be two big indicators that sponsors will come on. If we can do those two things right, we will have an opportunity to bring in a lot more sponsorship revenue. I think there is sponsor money out there, and they are willing to spend it if the value is there for them. Even in a downtime for the economy, that is the key factor.

How do you think you can make your drivers more stars?

Last week was the first driver intro I got to see because they didn't do one at St. Pete. I felt that we don't do a good job at showing the stars we have. I had several meetings after that race, and we talked about showing the legends in our sport and attaching that to the up and coming stars we have in the series. And with the intros what we need to do is showcase them in a huge fashion, coming onto that stage. Like with Will Power, if he is the top guy right now, we need to showcase him higher and bigger  than everyone else, so if I am a kid or 25 years old, I will remember Will Power. And that to me is very important. On the outside , we can do more too. Events like we had last night, there are very places that would do something like close down Hollywood Boulevard and try to take it to a showcase level. I mean think about it, this is Hollywood. How many producers and Hollywood people are going to come down to Long Beach. So why not take advantage of that. Here we are in the number two market in the United States. If we are going to spend a significant amount of money on a promotion, let's do it in one of the biggest cities in the United States.

In two weeks, you keep alluding to that...can you tell us more?

Nope. You are going to have to figure that out now, and wait to hear from us. But I will say we need to get to second base before home plate, and I think we need to set ourselves up for the future on how we can build up our stars as well as major events. That is what this is going to be about.

Any chance of a reality TV show?

Great question. I met with four different producers yesterday, all major producers with Endeavor Agency out of Beverly Hills representing us on that, and I think it is very important that we have some kind of shoulder programming. I think that this sport, with the passion and personalities we have, would do very well on TV. How many sports are there where men and women compete on the same level. I think that storyline would be incredible to showcase on an hour show that really hits home with our fans. If we are going to do a reality show, let's make it stand apart and make sure that it's helping our sport go to the next level.

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