Novak Fills Race Director Role

Brian Barnhart addresses IndyCar drivers at 2017 Indy 500
Brian Barnhart's replacement as IndyCar race director will be Kyle Novak. | Photo: Chris Owens / INDYCAR

INDYCAR has named veteran race official Kyle Novak as the replacement to longtime Verizon IndyCar Series race director Brian Barnhart.

Novak will lead operations in Race Control at all IndyCar events as the new manager of the team that assures safe, timely and competitive racing.

The 36-year-old was introduced to open-wheel racing as the operations manager and director of operations for the group promoting Champ Car races in Cleveland, Denver and Houston from 2004 to 2008. Most recently, he’s served as the race director for the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge championships while also being a race steward for the flagship IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

“Ironically enough, three people who work in INDYCAR Race Control are some of the first people I met in the industry, and that goes all the way back to 2004,” Novak said. “Those are among the key people I’ll be working with on a day-to-day basis. There’s a great deal of familiarity with them.”

As a lifelong “gearhead,” Novak always found himself working on cars and eventually competing with his father and brother in amateur bracket drag racing near their home in Dexter, Michigan.

“We have been aware of Kyle’s work for the past couple of years,” said INDYCAR President of Competition and Operations Jay Frye. “He’s clearly impressed those he’s worked with and, after meeting with him, we knew he would be a great fit for our Race Control team.”

The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in March will mark Novak’s first race weekend in the role.

What do you think?