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DATE News (chronologically)
02/25/11
irl
Bernard clarifies who is eligible for $5M bonus
Randy Bernard said today that it will take being a legend for a former IndyCar driver to be eligible for the $5 million challenge in October at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

In other words, Michael Andretti or Al Unser Jr. will be approved by the selection committee if they want to pursue a ride.

“(They) would sell tickets … create viewership,” Bernard said. “I don’t want anybody holding out (on the season) just to do this. Like Tony Kanaan. He wouldn’t be eligible.

“I’ve had several calls from guys like that. There’s no chance of that (happening).”

Andretti has not said he will participate. Unser has joked on Twitter about being interested, although he told The Star that he’s kidding.

The key to making the bonus available, Bernard said, is showcasing the Izod IndyCar Series to drivers in other motor sports genres, and vice versa.

Among the drivers Bernard mentioned was motorcycle stuntman Travis Pastrana, who has been driving rally cars in preparation for a part-time ride in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series this year.

Obviously, all of NASCAR’s drivers would be eligible, except Danica Patrick, of course.

Bernard said he limited the opportunities to five because that’s how many IndyCar teams he thinks could provide an extra car that’s capable of winning the season-ending Oct. 16 race.

“The last thing I want to do is give away the integrity of the race or the integrity of the drivers we have,” he said. Indy Star

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