Former North County man takes over Indy Racing League

INDIANAPOLIS -- Randy Bernard, the longtime head of the Professional Bull Riders Inc., is the new chief executive officer of the Indy Racing League.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and CEO Jeff Belskus made the announcement Tuesday.

The 43-year-old Bernard spent 15 years overseeing the bull riders’ organization, helping a TV audience and attendance at events.

Bernard, whose family is from the Paso Robles and San Ardo areas, graduated from King City High School and attended Cal Poly.

Bernard says he won’t pretend to be an open-wheel racing expert, but he says the product has potential. He says he expects the IRL to become profitable by drawing more fans, not cutting costs.

The move caps months of turmoil. IRL founder Tony George was ousted last summer as CEO and president of the IndyCar series by the speedway board, which is controlled by his mother and sisters.

Last month, he resigned from the board and the family business, Hulman & Co., and has since shut down his Vision Racing team.