Bull-riding boss takes reins of Indy Racing League

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The Indy Racing League has a new CEO to fill the position left vacant by former leader Tony George.

The IRL said late Monday that Randy Bernard, CEO of the Professional Bull Riders Association, will take the reins of the struggling racing series. IRL directors offered him the job on Thursday.

The position became open when directors dismissed George last summer as boss of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and he declined an offer to remain as CEO of the IRL.

Bernard will answer directly to Jeff Belskus, whom the IMS/IRL board tapped last year to replace George.

Bernard, who resides in Los Angeles, will leave the Pueblo, Colo.-based Professional Bull Riders Association on March 1. He has been CEO of the association since it launched in 1995.

“The PBR has been my life for 15 years, and I am very proud of our accomplishments,” Bernard said in a written statement. “From the cowboys, stock contractors, sponsors, staff and board, to our great fans, it has been a great ride, and I am very thankful to have so many great memories.”

In April 2007, Bernard executed a merger between Professional Bull Riders Inc. and Spire Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm.

The merger allowed the founding members and other bull-riding shareholders to grow their venture while maintaining a significant equity stake in the organization.

Bernard attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and spent six years in the marketing and entertainment department of the California Mid State Fair prior to joining the PBR.

IRL officials were not immediately available for comment.



  • Marlboro Gone
    Got word tonite Marlboro is done with IRL.
  • Good News for IRL and 8 Second Rule
    Congrats to the new IRL CEO (and PBR expert) Randy Bernard!
    Best wishes to Randy in his new role and may his success exceed the PBR's "8 SECONDS" standard and wishing him many stellar days @ the IRL helm in the Winner's Circle.
    Lame, lame, lame! Is that all you can come up with "crap"? Gee, we've heard that word so many times, you're such an original thinker. It's about time we put a smile on our face, had some fun with it, and wished these guys well for all of the mess they have inherited. I say "yippee ti yi yaay" to these guys for putting a plan together, hiring a series sponsor, and putting a good looking, successful business man in charge that doesn't have to get mired in the past muck to promote this series.

    If it were your enterprise, what would you do, try to make it work, or say "It's crap and it sucks!" And then stick your head in the sand. I guess the only thing we don't know about your answer is where you would stick your head!

  • Trail Boss at IRL
    Looks like them boys are takin' no more "bull" from TG!

    And that's a big yee haw.......
  • IRL?
    It's not about creating an ad campaign to sell the irl the problem is the product sucks, car, engine. repackage all you want still the same crap!
    • Spire?
      Amazing how much overlap there is between Spire Capital and Just Marketing. If the IRL could be packaged up and sold in the way the PBR was, the signing of a guy from outside racing would make a lot more sense.

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    1. Yes sir keep cashing those 300K a year checks direct to IMS, while millions disappear from the teams like Rahal's. Guess there wasn't enough ka- ching going around to keep Sarah Fisher in business without their "merger". LOL._____.Meanwhile back in Realville the series with the "best racing in the world" drew what appeared to be about 5000 live spectators ( and probably 1500 of those Target "freebies", and was beaten in the ratings by a series that reportedly consists of "parades" and aired while most people are still sleeping. That will generate those big ka-chings for sure. :-). But, hey, as long as the Speedway gets the cash who gives a damn about the teams?

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