Jump to content

Bernie Myers running for 2021 Board of Directors


Recommended Posts

Hello ChampCar Members,

I am Bernie Myers (aka hotrod) member of the Blue Shells Racing Team and builder of our two Ford Focus SVT’s.

I am looking for your vote to become a ChampCar Board of Director.

 

My racing career goes back a long way.

I spent 20 years with the Dale Coyne Racing IndyCar Team as a mechanic then crew chief then team manager. As manager I attended many meetings with chassis manufactures, engine suppliers, tire manufactures, sponsors, other car owners, track owners, promoters, officials and driver & crew meetings. From this experience I was able to take away what was on every ones agenda. Were they thinking of themselves or what was good for the series? How would a decision affect all involved? How would it change the cost of racing? Does a team looking for a rule change or update give them a distinct advantage?

 

Through the years in IndyCar I won several awards chosen by the sanctioning body and my peers. Two of which are still in the Indianapolis Speedway Museum.

 

Not long ago I helped to resurrect local pavement Midget Racing through the Short Track Auto Racing Series or STARS. I wrote the rule book and was race director. We stabilized the rules, treated everyone fairly and alike and increased car counts and attendance because of this.

 

After the success of STARS for one year I became Race Director for the local Friday Night Stock Car Races. Again writing the rule book and making sure that there was no favoritism and everyone was treated the same. Again raising the car counts and attendance. The rules and procedures we changed are still used today.

 

In all I’ve been involved in Motorsports in one form or another since 1977.

 

I believe my past involvement in Motorsports can help me make the correct decisions to move ChampCar forward.  

 

For the first time I volunteered to work with ChampCar at Elkhart Lake this past October.  Friday in tech and Saturday & Sunday on pit lane. It was a great experience. I came away with many more ideas on how to improve on the race weekend experience.

 

Here is a short list of what I think:

I believe in rules stability, limitation or no more free parts, a balanced VPI table, looking into adding points or limiting larger fuel tanks.

I believe in transparency and direct communication with members.

I believe in a rule book big enough to allow for complete understanding of the rules and that all the rules are enforced as written.

I believe in supporting and awarding all classes through third place in each class.

I believe  that across the board tech regulations are adhered to everyone.

I believe in supporting all classes through third place in each class.

 

I believe we need to put just a little bit of ChumpCar back into ChampCar!

 

The makeup and premise of ChampCar is spot on as it gives us the opportunities to run at all these great racetracks something that would otherwise be out of the question given the costs to run other series. But the series has stepped away a bit from the point of being able to build and compete with a fairly inexpensive race car. If elected to the Board of Directors I would fight for cost containment, fair enforced rules and procedures that will help to increase the event car counts.

 

Thank you, Bernie Myers

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, E. Tyler Pedersen said:

Bernie - Thank you for running for the 2020 Board of Directors.  I will have a couple of questions in the coming days before I cast my vote.

Thanks you looking forward to it. Along with anyone else that wants to ask any questions.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Bernie,

 

I also had a few questions -

  • You mentioned transparency and direct communication with members - my team was involved in a rather high profile racing incident earlier this year.  When these sorts of things happen (and it's racing, it's going to happen), do you believe that the process and decisions reached by the board should be made available all Champcar members, or do you believe that privacy should be maintained?
  • How do you feel about the discussed redefinition of the classes?  As in, moving away from a displacement based class structure, and to a points based class structure?  Got any idea of the pros and cons of such a move?

Thanks,

Kris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

58 minutes ago, krispykritter said:

Hello Bernie,

 

I also had a few questions -

  • You mentioned transparency and direct communication with members - my team was involved in a rather high profile racing incident earlier this year.  When these sorts of things happen (and it's racing, it's going to happen), do you believe that the process and decisions reached by the board should be made available all Champcar members, or do you believe that privacy should be maintained?
  • How do you feel about the discussed redefinition of the classes?  As in, moving away from a displacement based class structure, and to a points based class structure?  Got any idea of the pros and cons of such a move?

Thanks,

Kris

Correct me if I’m wrong here, you are talking about the crash at Daytona which sparked forum threads, and ultimately (according to the rumor mill) resulted in a ban from the series for that team, but no resolution / statement was made public by the series?

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, enginerd said:

Correct me if I’m wrong here, you are talking about the crash at Daytona which sparked forum threads, and ultimately (according to the rumor mill) resulted in a ban from the series for that team, but no resolution / statement was made public by the series?

 

Bingo.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, enginerd said:

Correct me if I’m wrong here, you are talking about the crash at Daytona which sparked forum threads, and ultimately (according to the rumor mill) resulted in a ban from the series for that team, but no resolution / statement was made public by the series?

 

18 minutes ago, MoparBoyy said:

 

Bingo.

 

Yep.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, E. Tyler Pedersen said:

Hey Bernie,

 

Here are my questions:

 

image.png

image.png

Thanks for the questions Tyler. If I missed something please let me know.

1. All parties should be involved in rule making. When a petition is presented it should go to Tech then TAC then for approval by the board. The order can change if need be. From what I understand Tech had no input on the new rules. These are the guys that see the members first and see whats going on with these cars in relation to the rules, they should be a part of the rule process. Petitions are the voice of the members they need to be included.

2. Cost reduction is always tough because rules have already been put in place as to what you can do. Free parts are not free and that needs to stop. Free parts allow you to spend money on ways to make your car go faster. Every part from here on out needs to be points whether it's 1-2-3 points. 

Pump gas should be 93 octane not 100 as I understand it. I don't see this in the rule book but it should be. Teams that run 100 need to be on 93, this will also hopefully slow them down. 

Limits need to be put on the cars that are very fast. Proper VPI and points charged thoroughly. Other teams that wish to podium  are forced to spend much more money to have a chance. 

ChampCar now has something to "Sell" we as a Board need to secure more sponsorship money for the series and put it towards lowering entry fees.

3. A couple on the current board do interact with the members but not every BOD is on social media or the forums. This to me seems simple to change so there is more interaction. All BOD members should be following these outlets it doesn't  take much time & it isn't painful. This is the place where the members are. 

We see how our politicians vote why not show how the BOD votes & feels about the topics that come up. Looking from the outside it appears that some decisions are made  without all parties being involved. Isn't the Tech desk purpose to answer questions for current rules? 

4.Only safety rules should change during the course of a season. PERIOD. Any other rule should be presented for the next years rule book so all can be involved in the decision. How did alternators & starters become free 3/4 of the way through the season.  

5. I see my initial few weeks as a way to see how the remaining BOD members interact and how the procedures they currently do are formatted. I have several other ideas that I would implement and I would push hard on those once acquainted. The two biggest topics I see is "Free Parts" & "Communication" These were also spoken about a year ago from the members but little has changed. I see this year as a way for the BOD to take on a completely new look and insight but changing the current three positions that are available.  

I don't know of one particular role I would always fight for the member to keep costs from exploding, fairness of the rules to all and try to bring back the fun that once was. 

Bernie Myers

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, krispykritter said:

Hello Bernie,

 

I also had a few questions -

  • You mentioned transparency and direct communication with members - my team was involved in a rather high profile racing incident earlier this year.  When these sorts of things happen (and it's racing, it's going to happen), do you believe that the process and decisions reached by the board should be made available all Champcar members, or do you believe that privacy should be maintained?
  • How do you feel about the discussed redefinition of the classes?  As in, moving away from a displacement based class structure, and to a points based class structure?  Got any idea of the pros and cons of such a move?

Thanks,

Kris

Hello Chris, Thanks for the questions.

1. I think that if a proper decision is made and the ruling is executed by the rules as written then the discussions between all parties should be left private. If I have this case correct then the team that hit you was removed from the series, No need to dirty the water and ruin it for them to race somewhere else.

2. The current Class rule is close. Our experience has been that we have had a shot of a top three or a class win. We need to look at the current engine size to each class and see if the formula is correct. I do think we should honor the top three in each class to give more teams a way to receive recognition for the hard work they put in. IMSA & WEC does it so should we.    

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My 15 minutes of fame (Orange Vest) at Elkhart Lake helping to change out the timing loop Saturday morning. Not the first time. I did have a great time volunteering for the event and got to meet many fellow racers. Picture shows how much camber is built into the track.

123250426_154402956364336_1991226193115827897_o.jpg

Edited by hotrod
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, hotrod said:

Hello Chris, Thanks for the questions.

1. I think that if a proper decision is made and the ruling is executed by the rules as written then the discussions between all parties should be left private. If I have this case correct then the team that hit you was removed from the series, No need to dirty the water and ruin it for them to race somewhere else.

 

I'm still torn on this.  While I do find it less than ideal to air out dirty laundry out publicly when dealing with a problem competitor.  I'm also aware that this methodology is what lead to sexual assault and misconduct running rampant through many institutions.  Scandals like what happened to the catholic church should act as a warning to institutions choosing to only privately discipline bad actors.

 

If a team gets a talking to for a mistake or a bad call that's one thing.  If a team needs to be banned for repeated issues, I feel there should be a record of it.  And that record should be available to members.  Especially since this is a member owned organization.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bernie,

 

I have some rather pointed questions on some hot button issues from the forums.  While it may not be possible to be too specific (but appreciated if you can/will), I would like to hear your thoughts on the following:

 

Regarding classing, are you more likely to favor the status quo with some adjustments, a move to points based classing, or possibly a two tiered “Open” class and two tiered “limited prep class”?

 

What are your thoughts on addressing “fuel for points” or other fuel rules that would allow more fuel limited models another path to being competitive?

 

What are your thoughts on containing the (potential) tire “arms race”?  Limit or exclude brands, mark/limit tire use per weekend, limits on tire change tools/personnel, other or none?

 

Many have said “no more free stuff” and “we need to address speed creep”, would you be in favor of or consider a full review of points based items to the extent of rolling back some allowances (with enough notification/lead time)?

 

Thank you and congratulations!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whats you take on free stuff when it's needed for reliability, example the Ford Focus have horrible wheel bearing failures to the point that you can't race on the stock units. Luckily there have been members that have done group buys on "super hubs" which are CNC custom units. Do you think that should be a free item or is that the cost of choosing that car?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Ian said:

 

I'm still torn on this.  While I do find it less than ideal to air out dirty laundry out publicly when dealing with a problem competitor.  I'm also aware that this methodology is what lead to sexual assault and misconduct running rampant through many institutions.  Scandals like what happened to the catholic church should act as a warning to institutions choosing to only privately discipline bad actors.

 

If a team gets a talking to for a mistake or a bad call that's one thing.  If a team needs to be banned for repeated issues, I feel there should be a record of it.  And that record should be available to members.  Especially since this is a member owned organization.

That is a extreme polar opposite scenario from your original question. That would require police, lawyers & jail time. 

Let me explain what I have done in the past. In other series I  have suspended past Champions for a season and disqualified winners for not following the rule book. In order for that to happen we talked to all parties involved including drivers & Officials. When a decision was made to take some action we publicly said what the infractions were  and stated what was in the rule book to back it up & how the person was found to be in violation. We didn't release conversations that led up to that. In some cases we would send a certified letter to the person being penalized so there would be no confusion on what was decided. Not sure of the ChampCar process but that is what I have done.

Again I have only read what happened in your case via the forums. But the car or team was banned from racing with ChampCar we all know that and if they decide to race in another series I'm sure that they will find out what happened to them in ChampCar.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, craig71188 said:

Bernie,

 

I have some rather pointed questions on some hot button issues from the forums.  While it may not be possible to be too specific (but appreciated if you can/will), I would like to hear your thoughts on the following:

 

Regarding classing, are you more likely to favor the status quo with some adjustments, a move to points based classing, or possibly a two tiered “Open” class and two tiered “limited prep class”?

 

What are your thoughts on addressing “fuel for points” or other fuel rules that would allow more fuel limited models another path to being competitive?

 

What are your thoughts on containing the (potential) tire “arms race”?  Limit or exclude brands, mark/limit tire use per weekend, limits on tire change tools/personnel, other or none?

 

Many have said “no more free stuff” and “we need to address speed creep”, would you be in favor of or consider a full review of points based items to the extent of rolling back some allowances (with enough notification/lead time)?

 

Thank you and congratulations!

I think the current class setting is close may need a look at it to possibly change some engine sizes to another class. From my experience with our Class B car & the way the rules are we do have a change at the end of the day to be out front or win our class. I think we should reward not only the top three overall but three in each class. It gives the team that can't run up front something to race for.

 

There are a few cars that have a huge advantage with large fuel tanks that result in big advantage. Based on petitions I would look to limit capacity on large tanks or charge points.

 

The tire issue would need to come via a petition as the members should decide what the rule should be. I don't like limiting items because that just leads to limiting more items. The Corvette used a lot of tires at Indy but the track is very abrasive we went through many of our 15" tires there last year more than we anticipated. At Elkhart a couple weeks ago they changed left side tires once. Things often have a way to work things out.

 

As I've stated before there should be no more free parts unless there is a problem with availability of OE parts. Taking away what has already been given is tough to do but I would be open to  a conversation about how to take away free parts.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

51 minutes ago, trigun7469 said:

Whats you take on free stuff when it's needed for reliability, example the Ford Focus have horrible wheel bearing failures to the point that you can't race on the stock units. Luckily there have been members that have done group buys on "super hubs" which are CNC custom units. Do you think that should be a free item or is that the cost of choosing that car?

With our Focus we have raced on stock hubs & bearings. We broke some hubs but never lost a bearing. We bought the billet hubs & took the points. And the hubs shouldn't be free. Give a team free hubs then they go to a wider tire and increases speed creep then that again leads to more bearing failures. Adding wheel spacers also increase the risk of a bearing going. For the record I change bearings every race it's cheap insurance. Free alternators, starters, fly wheels & clutches it's all to much.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Technical Advisory Committee
21 minutes ago, hotrod said:

I think the current class setting is close may need a look at it to possibly change some engine sizes to another class. From my experience with our Class B car & the way the rules are we do have a change at the end of the day to be out front or win our class. I think we should reward not only the top three overall but three in each class. It gives the team that can't run up front something to race for.


When I ran in WRL for a year that is what they did, 3 trophies per class. It was awful. Over the years I have grown to like the class winner trophies in Champ, and at first I didn't like them at all. I thought it took away from the overall win. I think the small trophy for the class win hits the sweet spot, but I do think there should be a requirement for 5 cars to be in a class to get one. 

If you give trophies to top 3 in a class, at some point the first year this is in place  you will see the last place car get a trophy. It will be 3rd place in B or D class at a race with 25 - 30 cars. This is not a youth soccer league, a trophy should be earned, not just based on participation. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, red0 said:


When I ran in WRL for a year that is what they did, 3 trophies per class. It was awful. Over the years I have grown to like the class winner trophies in Champ, and at first I didn't like them at all. I thought it took away from the overall win. I think the small trophy for the class win hits the sweet spot, but I do think there should be a requirement for 5 cars to be in a class to get one. 

If you give trophies to top 3 in a class, at some point the first year this is in place  you will see the last place car get a trophy. It will be 3rd place in B or D class at a race with 25 - 30 cars. This is not a youth soccer league, a trophy should be earned, not just based on participation. 

I agree there needs to be at least so many cars in a class to be eligible like there is with the EC class. This is why we have open conversations so all have imput.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bernie

 

Impressive credentials and I really appreciate what you have continued to contribute to the sport. Rodger brought up the topic of driver education in his platform, which really resonates with me and my team given we've been on the receiving end of some pretty bad incidents that could have been avoided if the driver had some basic DE experience. I think this will continue to be a safety concern as the series continues to get faster and newer, more capable cars are added to the VPI. I'd be interested in your thoughts on this. 

 

-Dan 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, RocketHamRacing said:

Bernie

 

Impressive credentials and I really appreciate what you have continued to contribute to the sport. Rodger brought up the topic of driver education in his platform, which really resonates with me and my team given we've been on the receiving end of some pretty bad incidents that could have been avoided if the driver had some basic DE experience. I think this will continue to be a safety concern as the series continues to get faster and newer, more capable cars are added to the VPI. I'd be interested in your thoughts on this. 

 

-Dan 

ChampCar's catch phrase is "ChampCar is the simplest path to real road racing". If we are looking to require new drivers to have some experience then that would have to come via a petition and the be cleared by the BOD. Other series require experience to race this stops a lot of guys from trying & I don't know if they have less on track damage than we do. I think it's great that teams offer arrive & drive with driver coaching. This gives the inexperienced driver a better path to door to door racing because they have been coached by an experienced team. Last year at Indy we got clobbered several times most often by veteran teams. This year while working pit lane at Elkhart for 15 hours there were no full course yellows and often times 10-15 cars would go into turn one and everyone got through. At the drivers meeting Mike Morrison asked for a raise of hands for 1st timers & several hands went up yet it was a clean race. Until the virus came along there were in person meetings that would instruct new drivers of flags & on track procedures who knows how many have watched the virtual meetings. I attended them when I was a newbie here & it was helpful.

I understand what you are saying but you can get hit by the new driver as often as the veteran driver but would support a program to help out new to the series if a plan is put together. Thanks for your question, Bernie Myers  

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, hotrod said:

That is a extreme polar opposite scenario from your original question. That would require police, lawyers & jail time. 

Let me explain what I have done in the past. In other series I  have suspended past Champions for a season and disqualified winners for not following the rule book. In order for that to happen we talked to all parties involved including drivers & Officials. When a decision was made to take some action we publicly said what the infractions were  and stated what was in the rule book to back it up & how the person was found to be in violation. We didn't release conversations that led up to that. In some cases we would send a certified letter to the person being penalized so there would be no confusion on what was decided. Not sure of the ChampCar process but that is what I have done.

Again I have only read what happened in your case via the forums. But the car or team was banned from racing with ChampCar we all know that and if they decide to race in another series I'm sure that they will find out what happened to them in ChampCar.

 

It wasn't my question, I was just looking for clarification and to see how you'd respond to being pushed on your opinion.

 

And yes, I picked an extreme example, but the mentality is not so different.  If a competitor in this series seriously injure someone on track and it turns out they have been banned from multiple other series, it could end in a very costly legal battle.

 

"Your way" of dealing with a ban or suspension includes informing membership that a decision has been made.  Besides off the record comments, whether or not a punishment has been levied has not been released to members regarding this situation.

 

It's seems as though someone directly impacted by the incident that led to the alleged ban doesn't know for sure one way or another.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, Ian said:

 

It wasn't my question, I was just looking for clarification and to see how you'd respond to being pushed on your opinion.

 

And yes, I picked an extreme example, but the mentality is not so different.  If a competitor in this series seriously injure someone on track and it turns out they have been banned from multiple other series, it could end in a very costly legal battle.

 

"Your way" of dealing with a ban or suspension includes informing membership that a decision has been made.  Besides off the record comments, whether or not a punishment has been levied has not been released to members regarding this situation.

 

It's seems as though someone directly impacted by the incident that led to the alleged ban doesn't know for sure one way or another.

Ian. I can't change what has happened in the past but I did explain how I handled similar problems in my past. I did state that when a ruling comes out it is also accompanied by the rule as written in the rule book as to the infractions.  That should be enough information as to why a person was penalized and that's how it should be so the penalized one knows why they are being punished and others know that a penalty was handed out. I'm only saying private conversations with every involved would not be released.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...