But first he must appease owners upset about the cost of replacement parts for the new race car introduced this year. As part of IndyCar's deal with Dallara, designer of the new chassis, owners must buy replacement parts directly from the company. Previously, they'd made their own or bought from preferred manufacturers.
Owners say the cost of replacement parts will put them out of business. Dallara says lowering prices will bankrupt the company.
To Bernard, it's a matter of parity.
"The NFL put in a salary cap to have more competitive balance," Bernard said. "It'd be hard to do that in our sport. But we can make the cars the same. That puts the emphasis on the driver, where it should be. A lot of this is about owners wanting to be able to make their own parts, to gain an edge. IndyCar simply doesn't buy that."
TV viewership for open-wheel racing
1992: 14.1 million viewers
2002: 7.15 million
2012: 6.85 million
IndyCar Series viewership
On ABC: 3 million
On Versus: 373,000
On ABC: 2.5 million
On NBC Sports Network: 313,000
Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts