<
>

Brian Barnhart has backing of CEO

SONOMA, Calif. -- Brian Barnhart isn't popular in the pits these days following his controversial decision two weeks ago in New Hampshire. However, the IndyCar president of competition and operations does have the support of CEO Randy Bernard, who said he has no plans to make a change in his staff.

Barnhart came under fire after the crash-filled race at Loudon on Aug. 14. The race ended with about 10 laps to go following a multicar accident triggered by Danica Patrick, whose car slid sideways after rain fell steadily throughout the day. Because of the wet conditions, Barnhart chose to revert to the final order before the last restart to determine the winner.

That gave Patrick's Andretti Autosport teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay his first win of the season despite protests he had been passed by Scott Dixon and Spain's Oriol Servia before the final yellow. An appeals panel upheld the final results, though Barnhart admitted he made a mistake with his decision.

"We've admitted there was a problem last week, but to me it's not just been IndyCar where mistakes have been made," Bernard said before Sunday's race. "What we have to do is continue to work forward. (Fans) want to see a clean race and they want to see us do our job."

Several drivers expressed anger with Barnhart, and some have called for Bernard to make a change. So far, he's resisting.

"I won't disagree with that but the drivers, their job is to race and to do what they get paid to do," Bernard said.