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DATE News (chronologically)
04/10/10
irl
Indy CEO calls Barber spectacular  First-time visitor Randy Bernard was impressed with Barber Motorsports Park, taking in the tree-lined hills and picturesque surroundings Friday.  That's good news for track officials because Bernard is the new CEO of Indy Racing League.

"I've never seen a course this beautiful," said Bernard, who took over on March 1. "When they call it the Augusta of motorsports, I can see why. This is spectacular."

The track is tucked into a rural area on the fringes of Birmingham.

He also doesn't mind the location about 20 minutes from Talladega Superspeedway in an area known more for NASCAR than IndyCar. It provides an opportunity to expose new fans to open-wheel racing.

"Our job is to make sure we're delivering the message out there that we're a sport on the move, a racing league that's trying to move to the next level," Bernard said.

Bernard said people around Birmingham approached him Thursday when they saw his IndyCar jacket. He spoke to reporters a few minutes after chatting with race promoter Gene Hallman, and came away with positive reviews about how things were running.

"It's been very smooth," Bernard said. "Promoters are very quick to tell you when things aren't going well, so it's good to hear when they're going great."

Hallman estimates somewhere between 75,000-85,000 fans will attend over the weekend, and said they have sold tickets in 40 states and seven countries. CBS Sports

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