Robin Miller's Mailbag for October 29 presented by Honda Racing/HPD

Robin Miller's Mailbag for October 29 presented by Honda Racing/HPD

Insights & Analysis

Robin Miller's Mailbag for October 29 presented by Honda Racing/HPD

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Welcome to the Robin Miller Mailbag as presented by Honda Racing / HPD. You can follow the Santa Clarita, Calif.-based company at http://hpd.honda.com/ and on social media at @HondaRacing_HPD and https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD . Your questions for Robin should continue to be sent to millersmailbag@racer.com We cannot guarantee we’ll publish all your questions and answers, but Robin will reply to you.

And if you have a question about the technology side of racing, remember that Marshall Pruett tackles them in his Tech Mailbags. Please send tech questions to PruettsTechMailbag@Racer.com.

 

Q: With IMSA having troubles and teams leaving, do you see any teams joining IndyCar? Why are teams leaving IMSA? What is the latest on the possible Cosworth engine? Which team will Davey Hamilton partner with? What’s the latest on Iowa and Milwaukee? Will the schedule still come out around Halloween?
Matt Bockstruck

RM: A couple of sports car teams have inquired but none have made the move and sports car purses are even worse than IndyCar’s. Cosworth will partner with any manufacturer that IndyCar secures but nothing new on that front. I’d guess Dennis Reinbold for Hamilton. The schedule comes out Thursday.

Q: There has been a lot of comparison between the TV deals that TUDOR SportsCars and IndyCar have and the ratings home runs that sports cars have hit. Based on the RACER report last year, it is cheaper to run a DP or P2 car over the season than IndyCar. So, I am wondering which series brings the team owners a better return on their investment. If sports cars are cheaper to run and the TV ratings are better, which series makes the most sense, business-wise–not that I want teams to jump ship to sports cars, but wouldn’t it make more sense to go sports car racing? 
Paul Lewis, Macon, GA

RM: FOX Sports 1 airs the first few hours of the Rolex 24 (but not the finish) and the other races are on FOX Sports 1 or 2. Petit Le Mans and Austin were only live on IMSA.com but the condensed two-hour shows shown on 24-hour tape delay on NFL Sundays after the first game garnered a 1.1 rating for both. The FOX hits show there is still an audience after Labor Day (and I imagine this Sunday’s US Grand Prix from Austin on NBC will do OK as well). But IndyCar has five live races on ABC and the rest on NBCSN so it’s still got a better overall package than TUDOR.

Q: My question is about the leaders of IndyCar and who you think was the best leader IndyCar has had over the last 30 years? And if you could choose anybody to lead IndyCar who would it be? After Randy Bernard was let go I thought the new leader should have come from within the paddock namely Andretti Autosport! A team that fields four Indy cars, has cars in most of the ladder series, promotes races, Baltimore “not their fault it’s gone,” Milwaukee “they’re really trying to make it work,” and next year NOLA. My choice would have been Vice President and head of marketing John Lopes! Read his bio and two decades of moto sports experience, he should know IndyCar racing as well if not better than anybody out there! What are your thoughts on my choice? Would he have spent a million bucks to have a company that knows nothing about racing to advise him what to do? I don’t think so and the season probably would have just ended! So much for hiring a tennis guy!!
Joe, bored Indy Car fan!

RM: First off, Mark Miles didn’t hire the Boston Consulting Group, he just listens to it but he inherited it (I believe Jeff Belskus commissioned them). If Randy could have hired Derrick Walker, he’d still have his job and I liked his enthusiasm, his marketing mind and his willingness to listen to fans and people that understood racing. His ICONIC committee produced a racy-as-hell car, doubleheaders and 500-milers were again relevant and he even managed to get a USAC champ back in the Indy 500. The Turbo movie didn’t have the impact we hoped it would but it was still something mainstream that might have led to bigger things on television. I thought Randy was the best we’ve had since Jim Melvin (CART’s first leader); he just needed a buffer between the car owners and backstabbers. Dan Gurney or Roger Penske would have been the best choices. Dan’s White Paper (written in 1978) remains the smartest and most common sense approach 36 years later, while The Captain’s business savvy and connections would have rivaled Bernie. But, other than RP helping fund CART’s start and giving it some direction, neither were interested in running the show – they were racers first and foremost. Lopes seems better at marketing than management.  


Q: I just can’t wait to see 2015 race calendar for Verizon IndyCar series, but this was in my mailbox past Saturday. “Dual Race will be back again at Belle Isle May 29-31, 2015.”
Noz, SE Michigan

RM: Yep, Roger Penske’s people at Detroit love the doubleheader concept and the rest of the schedule will be announced Thursday. [ABOVE, The Captain, Jim Campbell of GM and an unsubtle photo-bomber, LAT photo]

Q: I really feel that IndyCar needs to have a second oval race at Indy. Especially given the quality of racing we have seen lately in the 500. Why not run a 400-mile race at Indy on Labor Day Weekend? Qualifying should be different, just use a standard fastest of two laps. They could leave qualifying at that or maybe incorporate two 30-50 lap Qualifying Races on Saturday. The start of the race should also look different then the 500 and a double file start would do that. What do you think?
Ryan Buck, Des Moines, IA

RM: I think moving the road course race to the season finale would make more sense but that’s not going to happen because last May’s ABC ratings and attendance (combined) were much better than the past 18 years. But only one oval race, please. The Indy 500 needs to retain some kind of exclusivity. It needs to remain special, not diluted with a cheap imitation.

Q: I was at Pocono and felt like there wasn’t enough action. Five hundred miles seems a bit long for 22 cars, I think Indy should be the only 500, and I’m not a big fan of support series. I had a thought. Why not two 200s with a twist?  Run the first race at say 11 a.m. on the infield road course followed by a 90-minute break to place the barriers over the openings in the walls, get lunch and prep the cars, and then 200 miles on the oval? The added wrinkle is you have to use the same car. Teams could make whatever changes they want to their car within the time allowed, but no substitutions. Restart in the order you finished, which would also put some fast guys in the back (always good on an oval). Pay straight up points for each race (making it a double-points day). I think this would be very interesting. You could run it tape delay later in the day to show most of the whole thing, editing the boring stuff. It would be a long day for the crews for sure, but you could open up the infield to allow people to watch the changes and I’m sure there’s a whole slew of ways to make it even more fan friendly. Is it even possible and what are the impediments/drawbacks?
Mike in NH

RM: I totally agree and I’ve said and written that if the Triple Crown doesn’t carry some big extra money, only Indy needs to be 500 miles. I also said last year that if you don’t have at least 28 cars, running 500 miles is a bore because there’s not enough traffic (and Pocono was a yawner). I like the twin 200s at Pocono concept, but all on the oval. The oval fans need more bang for their buck and Dane Carter (Pancho’s oldest son) suggests running the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship with all the oval races as worthy additional entertainment. Maybe IndyCar needs to look into that since Robby Gordon’s Stadium SuperTrucks series has been a hit on the street circuits.

Q: Regarding the IndyCar schedule, I have one thing that keeps popping into my head over and over. Why can’t the final race of the season be at Pocono? If IndyCar sticks with being done before NFL, and Fontana could move to late spring/early summer…would Pocono work? You would have better weather at Pocono (except humidity, I guess) than the blistering SoCal heat at Fontana and you would be ending with a big 500 miler. Conflict with NASCAR schedule?
Gary Nelson, Flagstaff, Ariz.

RM: NASCAR runs its second Pocono race in early August so I can’t imagine cramming another race in later that month. Would it look like a bigger deal than the finale at Fontana? Or Sonoma? Or Milwaukee? Possibly, but it would need to be late September and that’s not likely to happen with Mark Miles in charge.


Q: Where does Chip Ganassi come up with the hunnert different associate sponsors? Clorox? Breathe Rite? Huggies? Energizer? Does Target drag all them along, or does the Chipster actually drum them up himself?
Chad R. Larson

RM: I believe that would be Target leveraging all its suppliers to join the party and, hence, all the different paint schemes on the No. 10 car [ABOVE, Tony Kanaan at Mid-Ohio, LAT photo] and different firesuits for its driver. Dixon’s No. 9 stays Target throughout. They’re great supporters of IndyCar, and have been on Chip’s cars for 25 years.

Q: First off, please keep doing all you do and for many years to come.  Your knowledge of both the history (love the new Fireside Chats and the present (The Mailbag is my favorite coverage of any sport, anywhere) of the sport is un-paralleled. So, with those things in mind, have you considered penning an Open Letter to Mark Miles? Something constructive, like say a 5-Point Plan for growing the sport we all love? Your public profile and popularity amongst the fans could almost guarantee that Miles will have to…gasp…actually respond publicly. My apologies if this has been suggested or tried in the past.  I am, admittedly, a relatively new returnee following The Split.
M.G., Kentfield, CA

RM: Well thanks for reading and watching, got some neat stories and photos to share in the coming months. As for Mark Miles, I send him suggestions from fans and myself from time to time but, other than a few emails, we really don’t have much contact. I’ve written several stories about my displeasure with the length of a season and certain things about the schedule and I send them to him. We’ve had two dinners and exchanged ideas/opinions so we’re about due for another one.  

Q: Every group I’ve ever worked with in selling ads or seeking sponsorships provide prospective clients with a demographic profile. I’m sure RACER has one as part of their media kit for ad sales. Any idea what IndyCar claim as their demographic profile? The demographic profile for the NBC and ABC ad sales? Do individual teams develop their own profiles or use the more generic IndyCar profile? Do they include the size of driver’s Twitter, Facebook and other social media accounts? Also, does it look like the car count may be up for 2015? Penske is up one, Is Foyt up to two? Herta is talking two cars, Hamilton is talking about joining up with a team. Will Andretti replace Hinchcliffe? That could be at least a four-car gain. We still need new teams, but four more cars would help the series, especially on ovals.
John in Charleston

RM: From Mike Kitchel, IndyCar’s VP of communications: “We do extensive research into the demographics of both current and prospective Verizon IndyCar Series fans. This year in particular we partnered with Nielsen to identify specific target audiences (individuals who may not watch IndyCar currently, but would be more likely to tune in) throughout the country to help us grow our television audience. We’ve always utilized demographic data as an essential component of our planning, but this advanced analysis allowed us to be unbelievably precise in our respective marketing, communication and digital strategy.”
The last one I remember seeing had IndyCar as a white-collar crowd from ages 32-52, mostly with college degrees.
As for car count, I think we’re all hoping Herta can field one car, Andretti is testing a driver with money and I believe Davey is concentrating on Indy only. But it should be 22, maybe 23.

Q: With so few seats in F1 and so many young guns (with financial backing) why isn’t IndyCar capitalizing on this and growing the car counts? Based on all we know you can run an IndyCar team for cents on the dollar compared to F1. There are so many top talented drivers in GP2, GP3, Formula Renault 3.5, not to mention F1 reserve drivers who will never get a full-time ride. Based on this, I don’t see how the car count in IndyCar isn’t 30-plus for each race (not counting Indy). Current teams should be expanding and new teams should be looking at it (especially Chevrolet-backed NASCAR teams) and other top organizations in other forms of racing. I just love IndyCar, I have been a fan for over 30 years and I think as a business this is an opportunity that is being missed.
Fernando Diaz, Redondo Beach, CA

RM: Financial backing of a couple million might be enough to get a ride but certainly not enuff to start a team or even expand one. Owning an IndyCar team is not a money-making proposition so it’s not like there’s a stampede to sign up. NASCAR offers great TV exposure and money plus good purses. And, instead of an influx of paying drivers every year, IndyCar needs to grow the ones who are already in the series.


Q: I’m one of the many fans grateful to see the powers that be listened to you when recommending Paul Tracy (P.T.) be in the NBCSN booth this last season for the races. It was fun to hear his commentary at Indy, taking T. Bell around Toronto and flicking the car out of gear on him at Sonoma, etc! So, here’s my question now that “Wind Tunnel” on the old SPEED channel is no longer with us… Since NASCAR, F1 and of course IndyCar will be on NBCSN starting in 2015 is there any chance “the powers that be” would entertain resurrecting a “Wind Tunnel” clone of some sort? If nothing else, could Bob Varsha host something like a “Wind Tunnel” review of the weekend racing action perhaps, in the meat of the summer racing season? “Bobby” as you always call him, did fill in for three IndyCar races in 2014.

I remember when I was at the inaugural St. Pete race in 2003 and got to meet Varsha and Tommy Kendall (T.K.), and they were both class acts! This fan’s dream team would be Bobby, PT and TK in the booth in 2015 for as many races as possible; I’ll wager I’m not alone either! Then we have a 30-minute “Wind Tunnel” clone on Sunday night showing some eye candy like when you stuck the microphone in AJ’s face at Houston after Sato crashed. It was the best un-scripted moment ever when he called the drivers out there a bunch of “G.D.” Idiots on live TV! It would be great for the ratings, don’t you agree? Best Regards, and please keep doing your video chats on RACER.com. I feel like I’m watching your old segments on “Wind Tunnel” again!
Jeff Smith, Ft. Myers, Florida

RM: Full credit to my boss, Rich O’Connor, for hiring P.T. and I think everyone was very happy with his insight, candor and humor. I love T.K. on TV but Townsend Bell and P.T. [ABOVE with Leigh Diffey, Ashley Wilson photo] have a nice chemistry and having a current driver who can express himself and explain the car’s handling like T.B. really adds to the telecast. NBCSN has a daily NASCAR show and I think we all hope that someday a Wind Tunnel-type show can be introduced as well. Thanks for reading and watching RACER.com. 

Q: I know this is speculation, but rumors (even on RACER) suggest that Fernando Alonso might be taking a year away from F1 in 2015 in preparation for a move to Audi in 2016. They suggest he would like to run Le Mans and maybe some other races during that time. Any chance he may try the Indy 500? It would almost guarantee higher ratings, especially from Europe which could only help IndyCar. Is there anything Indy can do to try to lure him here? Also any other 500 one-offs in the works for 2015 that you have heard about? Are Kurt Busch or any other NASCAR drivers interested? Again this couldn’t hurt.
Ben from Toronto

RM: Would he move the needle like Nigel Mansell did in 1993? I don’t think so. He would help awareness in the media and more people might watch the race, true, but it would likely be an expensive proposition that only Penske or Ganassi could embrace. And they’ve already got four cars apiece for 2015. Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne all want to run Indy but their car owners aren’t going to let them (although I think there’s hope for Larson some day because Chip isn’t against it).

Q: David Malsher’s article on Alonso calls into question two ideas that I thought were accepted as fact in the F1 paddock: 1) Fernando Alonso is the best F1 driver on the planet; 2) Contracts mean nothing. Malsher suggests that having Sebastian’s letter of intent to move to Ferrari gave Ferrari the courage to play hardball with Alonso. Regardless of whether Sebastian wanted to move or not, why would Ferrari do anything to encourage Alonso to leave? It sounds like they already forgotten his nearly supernatural ability to put their turds on the podium while his mortal teammates struggle to collect points. The second thing I don’t understand is why no one else has jumped at the chance to sign Fernando. If we believe that Fernando is the best on the planet, I would expect any other team to show a current driver the door, or force its drivers into (relatively) cheap contract extensions. There are more skilled drivers than quality rides in F1, so I would expect the teams to take advantage of this. Is it IndyCar season yet?
Kyle in Raleigh

RM: I cannot answer your first question other than to say Alonso was obviously tired of Ferrari’s excuses and it was tough to hide his frustration. We don’t know how many offers he’s had but at this point in his career he’s going to be very picky, isn’t he? McLaren seemed the likeliest since it’s been left on the side of the road.

Q: Robin, loved your video on the 1968 IndyCar season. In a future video segment or in the Mailbag, would you discuss the best books (reference books, biographies, histories – whether in print or out-of-print) on the subject of American open-wheel racing, with a particular emphasis on the Indianapolis 500. Until Gordon Kirby publishes his history of open-wheel racing (or you finally decide to), what 5-10 books, in your opinion, comprise the essential library for this form of racing and for the 500?
Rick Johnson, Lynnwood, WA

RM: Good idea and I plan to do a what’s a good book for Christmas video in December. Five good reads about Indy and open wheel racing would be Black Noon, Against Death & Time, Indy: race & ritual, Vukovich and As A Matter of Fact I am Parnelli Jones plus Kirby’s books on Mario, Mears and the Unsers. The Autocourse Official History of the Indy 500 by Donald Davidson and Rick Shaffer is also damn good and was recently updated. Hard Luck Lloyd is another good read about a man’s star-crossed pursuit of victory at Indianapolis.


Q: I was watching old Champ Car videos from Montreal in 2003 and I noticed there was a Friday pole-sitter and a Saturday pole-sitter when they showed the starting positions. When the IRL came to Nazareth in 2002 instead of CART I switched my interest to IRL since it was my local track and I was so young whether CART was better than the IRL or the IRL was better than CART, I could care less; I just loved racing. So during this time I had no clue what was going on in Champ Car so I never noticed this. My first question today is what was the qualifying format for Champ Car races and was it something that worked?
Side note, it’s a shame they couldn’t pass as much as they wanted too. I was getting an autograph from Helio last year at Pocono and I told him I grew up watching him at Nazareth and he said “Nazareth – now that’s a race track”. Any time I would tweet at a driver past or present, IndyCar or NASCAR they all say the same thing, it was a great race track. Did Michael Andretti ever try to reopen the track? And if he didn’t why do you think he stays away from it? Is it because it’s an ISC-owned track? I know he puts a lot of effort into Milwaukee and I just wish there was a stronger effort from the racing world in general to bring Nazareth back. I think the Speedway could thrive again especially with the Lehigh Valley area of Pa., thriving right now with a Sands Casino, a Pro Hockey team, and a Pro Baseball team. It shows that the Lehigh Valley can withstand professional sports and an influx of people for events. I think if Nazareth Speedway was open today the grandstands may be full again like it was in the ’90s.

Chad Frankenfield

RM: CART started the Friday-Saturday qualifying sometime in the ‘90s and it worked well because the promoter/media had a story on Friday as well as Saturday. The provisional pole-sitter would earn points and I believe a front-row starting spot was guaranteed by the Champ Car days. It meant there was a real incentive for all the front runners to go out and nail fastest time and that was especially good if it was wet. If there’s a wet practice session these days, no one goes out, especially if the forecast predicts a dry session for qualifying on Saturday, so that sucks for Friday spectators.
Roger Penske owned Nazareth and sold it to ISC but the IRL crowds kept dwindling. [ABOVE: Castroneves and Gil de Ferran battling at Nazareth in 2000, LAT photo ]

Q: The Hulmans seem to have a revolving door policy. Is the argument of competing with the NFL (or lack thereof) the beginning of the end for Mark Miles? If I remember correctly, aero kits where a brainchild of Randy Bernard. Do you think that if aero kits create grip with the fans, that there will be a bit of regret from the Hulmans regarding Randy?
Austin, West Michigan

RM: The Hulman/Georges didn’t handpick Mark Miles – that was orchestrated by the Hulman & Company board of directors, of which Miles just happened to be a member. And Josie George found Randy Bernard and initially got her family’s blessing but that was before the board expanded (and is no longer controlled by the family in terms of a majority vote) in 2012. I think Josie and sister Kathy were Bernard’s only allies in the end and his ouster would make good reading. Let’s just say Belskus should never plan on having a flat tire in front of Josie’s house. I think Miles made enough of a hit with last May (road race and ABC all month) that he’s safe until he decides to run for mayor or governor.

Q: I’ve been a massive IndyCar fan for all 19 years of my life and love racing in general. I’m always trying to encourage my friends to follow IndyCar and try to bring them to races but sadly my age group just doesn’t have the attention span to follow such a magnificent sport. I recently finished Dr. Steve Olvey’s book Rapid Response, and found it absolutely eye opening. As an EMT, I found the massive advancements in safety astonishing throughout the decades. Dr. Olvey is a true visionary and is to the racing world what Steve Jobs was to the tech world. His book has inspired me even more to aim for a career in healthcare and more importantly, healthcare focused on my love; motor racing. Anyway, what really angers me is that broadcasters like Dee Dubya and good ol’ boy Larry Mac are constantly spewing garbage about how great NAPCAR is and how much they have improved safety. All CRAPCAR has done is piggybacked on the advancements of IndyCar/CART, and because NASCRAP is so much more popular, people (i.e. the media) give them credit for it while ignoring the real heroes who ACTUALLY developed the technology. How aren’t the broadcasters penalized legally for giving false information and crediting the wrong people for the work? If someone plagiarizes texts or steals music they face criminal charges. Why isn’t the same true in this instance?
Trevor in Harrisburg, PA

RM: Terry Trammell and Doc Olvey did more for improving racing safety than can truly be appreciated. Along with Wally Dallenbach’s leadership, they took it from the dark ages to today’s first-class medical units and safety teams. And Tony George’s investment in the SAFER wall was a major breakthrough as well. So Rapid Response should be a must read for all NASCAR announcers.   

Q: What a painfully long Indy car offseason so far. Thank goodness for the Mailbag, Racer.com, the F1 calendar and to a much lesser degree Napcar. I’ve been a huge fan of open-wheel racing since 1992 when I watched Little Al and Scott Goodyear’s dramatic Indy 500 finish. I watched the rest of that season and spent the winter reading On Track and IndyCar magazine to learn as much as I could about racing. To ease my withdrawal symptoms this off-season, I’ve been watching recordings of the 1993 IndyCar season over the past months. Last night I watched Paul Tracy take his second win that season in Cleveland, with Fittipaldi and Mansell filling out the podium. P.T. has always been my favorite driver. Nice to see him involved in the IndyCar scene again this past year with NBC. I have really enjoyed his opinions and commentary. It seemed like he and Sam Hornish rubbed each other the wrong way in the booth during their shared race. Anything you can share about that? What I’m really interested in hearing about is the last few years of Champ Car. Teams like American Spirit Team Johansson and Fittipaldi-Dingman seemed to come out of nowhere as a way for CART to make sure it had a full field (of at least 18 cars). Even the lack of driver announcement until really really close to the season opener for a few years. Can you share any stories about those years and insight on what was actually going on behind the scenes to keep the series alive?
David ‘re-living 1993’ Sanchez from Toronto/West Hill

RM: I don’t recall any friction with Sam and P.T. . Go watch the ’93 Loudon battle between Mansell, Emmo and P.T. – especially the last 10 laps. I just remember Jimmy Vasser and Ryan Hunter-Reay driving for Stefan Johansson’s team in 2003 and RHR won Australia. I believe Jamie Dingman was a wealthy kid who hooked up with Emmo but CART gave away millions that year to teams so it could field 18 cars. [BELOW: Vasser in the ASTJ car battles Tiago Monteiro in the Fittipaldi-Dingman machine. LAT photo]

 


Q: My father blew me away years ago. We had never been to a pro motorsports event until he took me to the hydroplane races held (just once) below the newly completed Garrison dam in North Dakota in the mid-1960s. It was awesome. I think he was looking for something even better and he found it. He ordered tickets for Indy 1968! THANKS Dad!!! [ABOVE, 1968 Indy 500 start, Steve Shunck photo].
The turbine cars were incredible. I remember there were a few occasions where one of the turbines was separated on track from all other cars in front and behind. I thought the sound of it going by was very cool. It was quiet, but sounded supersonic as I recall. Anyway, one of my most cherished memories of the event was toward the end of the race. We were seated in Grandstand C, I think, across from the pits. Dan Gurney came in for a final pit stop while chasing the race leader. When he finished it looked to me like he put the car in top gear, floored it and dumped the clutch! The rear tires were smoking all the way down pit lane and into Turn 1! I have never seen anything quite like this ever. I believe the crowd watching this cheered and many gave him a standing ovation! Wow! Can you tell me, at the time this happened was there a pit speed limit? I don’t think that he got any kind of penalty or punishment. I personally think that the man deserves a medal! What a race!
Brian Wilson

RM: No pit speed limit back then and I worked for Lloyd Ruby, who often came into the pits at 140mph and never hit anyone. I wish it was still like that and just make a rule that the crew can’t come over the wall until the car has stopped.

Q: One of your readers, Hunter Smith from Plainfield, IN, wrote in regarding race driver fitness. I’ve run into the same scenario he was describing (people claiming racing isn’t a sport). I compiled some information (including videos) to crush that myth, and posted it on our website. Thought you might want to share that link with him. Thanks.
Randy Word, Fairview, Oregon

RM: Thanks for this. I think anybody who has watched an Indy car race on a road or street course understands how physically demanding it is and, indeed, IndyCar drivers are athletes.

Q: I’m a 24-year-old racecar fan who is a fan of all motor sports. Recently went to of World of Outlaw show in Fremont, about 45 minutes east of my hometown of Toledo. And man oh man, was it awesome! $40 got you into the pits, and my nose stuck to the back stretch fence (covered in dust!). I was able to walk around and get as close as I wanted to all of the cars and drivers. It was unparalleled access. My question is, what is your truly favorite motorsports experience and why? Love the Mailbags! Don’t stop ever please! Great entertainment to read at work on my phone (Shhhh!).
Mac, Toledo

RM: Probably my first time at Terre Haute’s Action Track to watch Jim Hurtubise in a sprint car. He was breathtaking and I was hooked so I followed him to Eldora, Salem, Winchester and the Indiana State Fairgrounds – stealing him beers when I could.
[BELOW: Hurtubise at Terre Haute in 1962, with A.J. Foyt on the high line. Gene Crucean photo]

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