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DATE News (chronologically)
05/11/10
irl
Bernard wants to 'blow up' IRL
Randy Bernard wants to get rid if IRL and keep IndyCar
What's in a name? Apparently too much in the case of the Indy Racing League, according to the organization's new boss.

Randy Bernard said Monday that those words -- and their acronym, "IRL" -- need to be removed from the sport's vernacular. He said they remind too many open-wheel fans of the nasty split Tony George created when he formed the Indianapolis-based series as an alternative to CART in 1996.

CART and the IRL, along with their fans and competitors, were divided for 12 often contentious years until unification occurred in 2008. That's when one Izod IndyCar Series came to be.

Much of the healing has taken place as drivers from both series have won races, but Bernard thinks there will be scars as long as "IRL" is around as a reminder.

"We need to blow up IRL," Bernard said. "It needs to be (known as) IndyCar.

"To the purist, (IRL) is a negative acronym. We need to get away from using it."

The IRL is the sanctioning body of the IndyCar and Firestone Indy Lights series, similar to NASCAR being the umbrella for the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck series.

A sanctioning body provides the competition and licensing of events for such venues as Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which opens for Indianapolis 500 practice Saturday.

Bernard said league officials need to do "some sort of press statement to show that (IRL) is dead.

"We need to let people understand we're trying to change." Indy Star

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