Walker made several important contributions that advanced Indycar as a sanctioning body, according to the release, but your views may differ. During his tenure, he assisted in securing Boston as a new event on the 2016 schedule, successfully introduced the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis in 2014, spearheaded additional investment to improve technology in Race Control and led innovation of the new Indy car aero kits. His focus on continuous safety advancement resulted in changes to the Indy car underwing, making the cars more stable and strengthening sidepods, further protecting drivers.
Mark Miles said:
“We have benefited from Derrick’s extensive racing experience, his tireless effort and his passion for Indycar, and he will be missed. We appreciate the thoughtful way Derrick has planned his transition and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
“I have appreciated the opportunity to work closely with the team owners, drivers and the team at Indycar. After two and a half racing seasons, I believe the timing is right to move on to other opportunities.”
We would like to start a running list of who could possible step into Walker’s shoes at the helm of Indycar. There may be a number of people who are qualified, but Indycar may just find itself on the short end when trying to woo potential “qualified” candidates. Miles is essentially an executive who runs the company, but the series needs a guy with racing experience, and a good reputation in pit lane amongst the other team owners. And whoever steps in better have a hell of a good game plan going forward.
Indycar is facing some big issues with trying to grow the series to the next level. Sure, the Indy 500 is a great event – the greatest spectacle in racing, in fact. But many of the other races are barely hanging on. Fontana, for instance, was a joke as far as spectators (estimated to be less than 3,000), and Ryan Briscoe was nearly killed in an accident that sent him flying and tumbling down the front stretch. Fortunately it ended with only a busted up car and not a busted up driver. Pack racing was widely criticized and many drivers and fans were comparing it to the type of racing that killed Dan Wheldon in 2011.
Vote for who you think should be the next president of competition in the comments below (Elvis is already taken).