It's not clear what's next for the troubled series.
"Well, I have been named interim CEO," Belskus told AP. "We're going to conduct a search. We haven't established a specific timeline for a permanent replacement. It's all part of a planning process that we'll address."
It didn't sound very promising to Zak Brown, founder and CEO of the motorsports marketing agency Just Marketing International, and the man many believed would run IndyCar under George's offer to buy the series. Brown has said he has no interest in running IndyCar.
"It all appears a bit strange and kneejerk to me," Brown said Sunday night. "I don't understand why Jeff Belskus hasn't communicated a longer-term plan. Unless there isn't one, which as CEO, I hope he has. The industry needs to know the plan."
So do the weary fans, who seemed overwhelmingly in support of Bernard and had been threatening for weeks via social media to turn their backs on the series for good if George regained control or Bernard was let go.
Belskus said he's unsure what reaction will be to Bernard's departure.
"It is change and we recognize that different people deal with change differently, and with people differently," he said.
Engaging and energetic, Bernard had bold ideas in his attempt to revitalize a racing series clinging for relevancy outside of the Indianapolis 500.
But Bernard was stymied by a combination of his own missteps, the same old drama and dysfunction that weakened open-wheel racing and allowed NASCAR to surpass it as the top racing series in America, and the massive mess left behind by George.
And even if Bernard had been flawless at his job, it likely still wouldn't have been enough.
George wanted his series back and wanted Bernard gone, and even if he couldn't make it happen, Bernard couldn't find enough allies in a paddock that ran through CEO's at a comical rate before George formed IndyCar.
Plus, it's been a rough 13 months for Bernard, whose tenure was rocked by the death of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon in the 2011 season finale.
Wheldon was only in the race as part of a $5 million promotion Bernard had devised as a means to close the season with a bang and build momentum for what was expected to be a breakthrough 2012 for IndyCar. Wheldon's death paralyzed IndyCar for months, and took a heavy emotional toll on Bernard, who after 15 years with The Professional Bull Riders was unaccustomed to the inherent dangers of auto racing.
And Bernard, who maybe was naive to just how political the IndyCar paddock can be, found himself putting out fire after fire every time he turned around this year. Team owners appeared to begin turning on him following a meeting at Long Beach in April in which they complained about the cost of replacement parts and a series ruling in the "Turbogate" scandal that allowed Honda to make a change to its engine.
Rumors swirled during the entire buildup to the Indianapolis 500 of an owner-led attempt to have him fired. Bernard confirmed the plot in an ill-timed tweet two days after the race, removing all focus from what many believed had been one of the most exciting 500s in years.
Although talk of Bernard losing his job quieted after the tweet, the board of directors — which failed to offer him any support during the attacks following Wheldon's death — still remained silent about his job security.
By August, there was talk of the George-led effort to buy the series.
That his job status was even in question was puzzling to outsiders, who point to years of instability and dysfunction in American open-wheel racing. Bernard had been brought in specifically tasked with cleaning up 14 years of disaster left behind after George had hemorrhaged family money for years on IndyCar.
Bernard was supposed to stop the bleeding, and immediately slashed the budget. He worked toward dramatically cutting losses that reportedly averaged high eight figures under George's watch to mid-to-low seven figures for Bernard.