Robin Miller's Mailbag for May 13, presented by Honda Racing / HPD

Robin Miller's Mailbag for May 13, presented by Honda Racing / HPD


Robin Miller's Mailbag for May 13, presented by Honda Racing / HPD


Welcome to the Robin Miller Mailbag as presented by Honda Racing / HPD. You can follow the Santa Clarita, Calif.-based company at and on social media at @HondaRacing_HPD and .

Your questions for Robin should continue to be sent to 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, Robin will pass these on to Marshall Pruett and he will also answer here.


Q: We were at the Speedway for the second running of the Indy GP and I thought it was a pretty good race. Rahal kept Will Power honest at the end, it seemed like T.K. passed about 100 cars, Stefano Coletti showed that he could handle himself under pressure and IndyCar as a whole proved that it could have carnage at the start of a race by doing away with standing starts.

Really, a rolling start traveling at 120mph, going five wide into a narrow right-hand first turn. Who couldn’t foresee this happening? This was so much better that the standing start from last year At least last year Saavedra and team could blame it on an electronic failure that the car didn’t launch and left him to be a victim sitting at the front of the starting field only to be clobbered from the rear. What Brain Cramp excuse was given this year that left Dixon, Hawksworth & Newgarden limping around the track and making extra pit stops for repairs?
Tony Piergallini

RM: Been a real yawner if Rahal hadn’t stayed in Power’s mirrors but
every road course race isn’t going to be like Barber and I’ve seen a lot worse. Of course when three of the contenders are eliminated in the first corner it takes away a lot of storylines. And I’d much rather see a standing start than what we saw Saturday.

Q: Where do I start? How about Power jumping the start? If you think he didn’t then how about the lack of another good side-by-side start by “the greatest drivers in the world”? Why can’t the starter for the IndyCar series manage to get the cars lined up before throwing the green? And why can’t the drivers go at least one lap before having a brain fart! C’mon Helio, you know Dixon is turning in!

I don’t think we’ve had a good start all year. I actually expected what happened at the GP of Indy since Brian Barnhart has returned to Race Control. The start should have been waved off! That front stretch is so huge there is absolutely no reason all the cars weren’t side by side.

Power was 2+car lengths ahead of Dixon when the flag fell…unacceptable! They need to be brought down slower BEFORE the flag flies. IndyCar had a chance – again – to showcase the series but they bungled it again. Then Anything But Coverage failed to talk to the Chipster or Mike Hull or anybody about the start.

Am I the only one who thought the start sucked? I turned it off after lap 10! I’m sure the polesitter will be allowed to lead going into Turn 1 at the 500. So much for three abreast. I’m so disgusted with this series I’m actually considering putting my 500 tickets on eBay.
Scott St. Clair, Erie, PA

RM: When you see an Indy 500 start from the 1950s and 1960s, 33 cars nose-to-tail steaming into Turn 1 (LEFT, 1955 start, IMS photo), it reminds you of why open-wheel racing is so exciting. But nowadays the polesitter is allowed to take off and it’s like single file is almost encouraged (and don’t tell me how much faster the cars are today because they’re also five times safer than those roadsters) by Race Control. A certain chief steward once said the polesitter DESERVED to lead the cars into Turn 1. If they lined up at 100mph before the green dropped at start-finish they’d be going a helluva lot slower when they got to Turn 1. It’s insulting to the fans and to Indy’s heritage but it doesn’t appear anybody cares except us.

Q: All the shuffling in the RLL team seems to have re-lit the fire under Graham Rahal. Do you think having Bobby calling his race was somehow holding Graham back? And, I don’t think Scott Dixon got enough credit. Knocked to the back in a crash that was not his fault, he made it back up to 10th. What a drive. I wish ABC had given him a bit more love, both during the race and in the post-race interviews.
Chad R. Larson, Phoenix

RM: Not at all. I always admired how Bob dealt with Graham when he got to Champ Car/IndyCar. He stayed on the other side of the pit wall when his son was running for other teams and didn’t interfere. He was also a good race strategist and I think he decided just to get off the scoring stand to give the team a fresh start and it’s working. Eddie Jones is a smart, even-keeled engineer along with Martin Pare and they’ve given Graham confidence to drive like he’s capable. About damn time, too.

Q: A pretty enjoyable race on Saturday, once we got past the ragged start followed by brainless nonsense in Turn 1 (ABOVE, IMS photo). Note: IndyCar drivers will never be able to wear the “world’s greatest drivers” moniker while they keep pulling shenanigans like Saturday. Power had a dominant performance and it was fun watching Graham chase him down. Now I’m counting the days until the 500!

One other topic – ABC doesn’t seem to have a clue how to broadcast a race and it’s really frustrating to watch. They missed both the start (such as it was) and the lone restart. They missed several passes near the front and sometimes failed to talk about them at all! I wouldn’t walk across the street to hear Cheever call a race and Goodyear, while clearly knowledgeable, is simply a bore. Finally, where were all the people? The front grandstands were barren!
Grant Gregory, Oklahoma City

RM: Well, to be fair, I’ve seen a helluva lot of F1 crashes in the first turn but, like Montoya said, you put 25 cars on a straightaway going 190mph into a first-gear corner and what do you expect? Again, a standing start is the answer at IMS. It’s amazing how lost ABC gets during a race. Other than Turns 1 & 4, no seats are worth sitting in on the front straightaway but it was a dismal turnout for sure.

Q: Maybe if they had yellow-flagged that abysmal start we wouldn’t have witnessed carnage at the first turn. What’s up with the strung-out starts this year? Is TV time so short that we can’t go around one more time and attempt it again? Yeah, you can blame the drivers for not lining up but also the starter for not aborting it. And what have Graham’s engineers found in the last month that has him possessed? I’ll bet the other Honda teams would like to know.
Jeff, Florida

RM: It’s almost like the polesitter knows he can start whenever because the start won’t be aborted and there’s one easy solution: You jump the start, you get one more chance. Do it again and you go to the rear of the field. Most series allow the flagman to use his judgment but in IndyCar it was in the hands of the Race Director until Beaux Barfield came in. Now that Barfield is gone, methinks it’s back in the hands of the Race Director. Rahal is carrying Honda right now and he’s obviously comfortable with his team. Racing is a mental game and Graham’s confidence is where it was a few years ago.

Q: The start will always be a problem for the GP of Indy, so why not have the drivers do a complete lap of the oval and, after their second time across the start/finish line, they enter the road course. This would give everyone a chance to get up to speed and I’m sure the field will spread out enough allowing a less-congested entry into the first turn.
Richard, Norwich, NY

RM: Never thought about it but I suppose it’s a possibility, although the Indy 500 starts have been strung out plenty of times during the past 19 years. Wonder why?

(LEFT: Tire prep in Gasoline Alley, photo: IMS)

Q: I was all fired up on Friday, ready to write in and bitch about how four Penskes and two Ganassis ruined the Firestone Fast 6 and Chevy was going to dominate the race and blah blah blah. Thankfully, qualifying didn’t really matter…Power won pole, Power had the best car in the race. I did, however, remain annoyed that qualifying was a bit of a dud and has become somewhat formulaic.

Bob Jenkins even said on the track PA, “They are going to run one good lap on primes, then come in and wait and see if they need to run a hot lap on alternates.” I’m fine with this in the first two rounds, but come the Firestone Fast 6, there needs to be something to put on a better show. Why can’t each car get one new set of alternates to use only for the Fast 6? Then they have to go on track at the green flag, spend maybe one minute at most on pit lane and drive hard the rest of the time and best lap wins pole. Would be a better show than what happened on Friday.. Again it ultimately didn’t matter, but for the maybe 2,000 of us who did show up on Friday, it would have been a nice show.
Chris, Oak Forest, IL

RM: I agree 1,000 percent and there once was talk of doing just that (adding a new set of reds to the Fast 6) to give the fans a better show. The concept of eliminating people in qualifying is good and can be dramatic but there is nothing worse than the fastest drivers sitting in their cars for eight of the 10 minutes.


Q: Last year you estimated that the GP of Indy (ABOVE, race start, photo by LAT) crowd was 25-30K, this year you say it was 20K? Having been at both races watched from every viewing mound and being in the parking lots, there is no way the crowd was down from last year. Everyone I talked to agreed it was at least the same if not somewhat larger.
Mike in Milwaukee

RM: Well, IMS officials said it was down 20 percent but they still had 40,000 (at least that’s what they told one driver). But let me give you a little crowd-counting lesson. If there are 240,000 permanent seats still standing at the Speedway, that means you had to have a person in every sixth seat to get 40,000 and several grandstands weren’t even open. I saw aerial photos and 20,000 may have been generous. Trust me, I overestimated practice/qualifying crowds at Indy for 25 years until the late, great Dave Cassidy (Tony George’s real godfather and Tony Hulman’s right-hand man for 30 years) showed me how it was done.

Q: My biggest issue with the GP of Indy isn’t the inconsistent standards of Race Control (although Helio should have of been penalized and I’m not sure that Newgarden was the nuisance that Rahal and Montoya claimed he was). My issue is the unprofessional presentation by ABC. ABC damn near missed the start of the race and the restart following the Turn 1 pile-up. In addition to that, Goodyear & Cheever made Bestwick a man all alone on an island. Badyear and Underacheever did nothing to enhance the broadcast or the image of IndyCar. They sure as hell didn’t help Bestwick out one bit. Those two guys managed to make a very good and entertaining race sound boring as hell.

I understand that IndyCar has a contract with ABC for a few more years. However ABC and IndyCar need to realize these anchors of Goodyear and Cheever cannot and will not put IndyCar in a positive light. I thought I accidently turned on CSPAN in the middle of the race. Please someone give these fools a bunch of Red Bulls before the Indy 500.
Rich Younts

Editorial comment: (because of the heavy volume of anti-ABC mail this week we’ve only selected two letters).

RM: I’ve said on many occasions I don’t know what happens to Eddie and Scott when that red light comes on but they aren’t the same guys. Both can be engaging and interesting off the air but they seem like strangers in the booth. Not having Terry Lingner as the producer/director in the truck really showed and the overall product had more of a high school TV exercise than a national television production. It was piped into the IMS press room and it sucked.

Q: I have defended ABC some in the past, but no more. The coverage of the GP of Indy race was so bad, I honestly believe it was detrimental to the series and the Indy 500 itself. I mean, when your broadcast crew are so apparently unknowledgeable and disinterested in the sport they are covering, why would anyone tune back in the next two weekends?

It got so bad I turned the radio broadcast on through my phone and just dealt with the one lap delay in the call. The director needs to be fired as well, missing Rahal closing the gap to Power in the early stages, and then going to commercial when Graham was about to make his critical last pit stop. Also, it seems ABC forgets they have people in the pits during the races – and Jon Beekhuis, the best IndyCar analyst/reporter they have, is underused immensely. Oh well I still plan on enjoying myself this weekend when I’m at Fast Friday and qualifications. Man I wish some more reporters and broadcasters had your level of passion and excitement about May in Indy still, Robin!

My favorite driver Simona doesn’t have to be worried about being displaced and Graham has been a treat to watch the past two races. Thanks for your interviews here on RACER and I am stoked to be at the Speedway this week.
Alan in The ‘Ville

RM: It comes across as disinterested to the viewer and that’s death on television. But it’s amazing how lost or unaware they can be while things are unfolding in front of them. And you are spot on about the pit reporters. NBCSN does a great job of mixing the booth with the pits as the race unfolds. It’s like a big conversation between Leigh, P.T., Towney, Marty, Kevin and Kelli, filled with timely information that helps tell the story. ABC has solid people in Beekhuis, Jerry Punch and Rick DeBruhl but they are seldom used and it’s a crime, since they know more about what’s going on than the booth.

Q: The recent announcement that IndyCar is putting LED position lights (ABOVE, Marshall Pruett photo) on the cars made me wonder if a similar system could be implemented for digital livery on the cars. The technology would certainly have to be different, but think about parts of the skin of the car becoming a digital billboard similar to the new IMS scoring pylon. Sure, such a system would add a small amount of weight and possibly create a little aero drag, but I don’t think it would be too significant.

From a sponsor standpoint, digital livery might be attractive to most of the owners. Instead of having to find one primary sponsor willing to pony up $5 million-plus to run a full season, imagine being able to attract 50 sponsors at $100k each (or whatever number makes sense). Each sponsor’s company or product logos could be given proportionate display time during a race with a computer changing the car’s livery in real time. If NASCAR can implement digital dashboards, certainly hi-tech IndyCar can one-up them on this (and then in 10 years we can listen to Darrell Waltrip credit NASCAR for creating digital livery after they copy IndyCar).
David, Greensboro, NC

RM: Damn good idea David and I shared it with some IndyCar owners. Let’s say you had three or four co-sponsors and instead of placement on the car or size of the advertising, your contribution is determined in the total time your logo is displayed on the car. Or, if three or four companies chip in the same amount, you either divide the race or it’s a continuous commercial. You want a job in IndyCar marketing?

Q: Do you think the Mazda Road to Indy could possibly be Mazda’s Road to Indy? As a manufacturer, Mazda has put a ton of work and money into various types of racing. And with Carlin rumored to move up to the big cars next year… I don’t know. Just a random thought about the possibility of a third manufacturer.
Phil in Monterey

RM: It seems logical and I’ve asked that same question but was told, no, Mazda is too small to compete with GM and Honda but is the perfect fit for the ladder system. And, considering all they do, it was cool to see all three classes lined up on the IMS straightaway last week.

Q: Jeff Gordon made fun of the IndyCar crowd at Pocono when he was there. That didn’t sit well with me, especially since I drove out there from Indy. And he is the guy IndyCar picks to drive the pace car. Yuck.

RM: True, but I know he respects the IndyCar product so I’ll give him a pass on that one (I think somebody asked him about the IndyCar attendance compared to NASCAR at Pocono). But I’d much rather see Danny Sullivan driving the pace car.

Q: With the early forecast for this weekend looking particularly grizzly, what would IMS do if an entire day got rained out? If Sunday washed out, would they just fall back on Saturday’s times? A Saturday washout would be really bad, though – the coverage window only lasts until 3 p.m. Sunday, so what would they do?
Kyle, Urbana, Ohio

RM: The forecast looks bad all weekend but if the field gets set Saturday and it rains out Sunday, they would simply start the way they qualified Saturday. If the whole weekend was washed out, then Monday would become qualifying day.


ABOVE: Tony Kanaan wins the IRL race at Phoenix in 2004. (IndyCar photo)

Q: I know you get a million questions about scheduling, (Road America, COTA, Watkins Glen, etc.) but given that we assume the season starts earlier next year, what about running an oval race before Indy? I know all tracks aren’t the same and the teams get a ton of track time at Indy during the month of May, but having an oval race would give the teams some laps in race conditions. Texas and Fontana are probably out due to being too close to NASCAR dates and the tracks would probably want a little separation between events. Milwaukee and Iowa probably would be out due to geography. Maybe Pocono mid-April, but I’m sure weather could be hit or miss. So we’d have to go to a track that IndyCar currently doesn’t use, has good weather, doesn’t conflict with NASCAR and is in a good location. What about Atlanta? I know it didn’t draw well in the past, but given that NASCAR only runs there once a year now, maybe it could work? If not, Phoenix? Something else?
Michael Lightner, Orlando, Fla.

RM: Phoenix would be the only possibility (Atlanta didn’t work in USAC, CART or the IRL) and I imagine it would either have to be January or late April. The ideal package would be one trip for Long Beach and Phoenix like it used to be but that’s probably a pipe dream.

Q: With two races in IMS for the Month of May, do you think IndyCar could make an “Indianapolis Omnium” where the driver who does the best average finish for both GP of Indianapolis and the Indy 500 get a bonus cash prize (say, $500,000)? And in the case of a driver winning both events, the amount gets doubled. What do you think?

And, being from the Philippines, mention Indianapolis to an old race fan and they will all say one thing: Jovy Marcelo. Shame he had to die in that practice accident, although most of the open-wheel candidates that climb the ranks here are well aware of his contributions. There is a Filipino driver in GP2 in the form of Marlon Stockinger, and since the influx of GP2 alumni like Coletti, Filippi, and Daly, and with the Filipino population in the U.S., I see potential for Stockinger to finish Jovy’s “unfinished business” with the Speedway.
Paolo Mendioro

RM: Hell yes, it should pay at least $1 million if you sweep both races and maybe some kind of Top 3 payout for your overall May performance. Seems like IMS could take out an insurance policy for somebody winning both and really make it newsworthy. I didn’t know Jovy but Mark Dismore was his close friend and expected good things. The tragedy is with today’s cockpit safety, Marcello would have likely walked away from his accident.

Q: I have seen two complaints lately that have made no sense to me lately: one is the airboxes over the car, and the other is the track record at Indy.

On the first point, the air boxes serve a very important safety purpose to protect the driver’s head. There are indeed better ways to cool the engine, but this protects people and serves other functions. Gonzalo Rodriguez wishes the air boxes were better in 1999.

Second point is the Indy track record. For those who complain about wanting to see the track record broken at Indy even at the risk of bad racing or, more likely, a fatality, I am saddened at your stance. Track records are not everything and are just a part of the equation. They’re nice, but they’re not what racing’s all about. Physics says that at some speed you cannot make it safe anymore. Keep the passion for speed, but remember that it’s not the end-all. I’d go further about things, but I’m sure you don’t want me to write an 8-page “IndyCar: 2018” post within the Mailbag.
Alex in Fla.

RM: Because of the head-on impact, the HANS Device would have been Gonzalo’s only savior and he was gone before the car flipped over the wall. As for a track record, not sure it would bring any added attendance and the cars go through the corners so fast now it’s insane. I’m with Gordon Kimball – I’d much rather see drivers going 180mph sliding through the turns.

Q: What do you see as the future for ovals in IndyCar? Other than the 500, it’s looking like there is a decline in promotion of oval races and some drivers are looking for road course rides only. I remember going to the first U.S. 500 and being blown away by the speed and that race made me a fan of Greg Moore, who I watched in awe make passes at Michigan. Is it really this bleak for ovals? This is what makes IndyCar different from F1.
Frank, Toronto

RM: To be honest, I think it’s very shaky. A place like Fontana can’t keep losing money and I imagine this will be the make or break year for Pocono. Texas has been on a steady decline and Milwaukee has never bounced back. Iowa is decent but not the sellout it was a few years ago. I said a few months ago that IndyCar may have to become the promoter of all ovals if they are to stay on the schedule.

Q: Every day I wake up and hope it is the month of May. Being a leader, I know IndyCar leadership is bad and that is being nice. Why is it that people/you want more concerts and fair rides at oval races, but will rip IMS for having more concerts in the month of May than races? By the way, Rick Mears is the most underrated driver.
Aaron McCartney. Greenwood, Ind.

RM: Not sure I follow your question but I could care less if there’s ever a concert at any track. They seem to be a must for ovals to try and get people in the gate but my suggestion would be all ovals are one-day shows so you wouldn’t need any “artificial” entertainment. The fact IMS spends more time promoting music (ABOVE: plugging the Stones at Indy, IMS photo) than racing is sad but it’s also not going to change.

Q: Will Ford get back into Indy racing? Are they working on it?
Al Kimbler

RM: Doesn’t look like it because Ford is pursuing Le Mans with a big effort. It’s where the manufacturers want to be.

Q: Some IndyCar thoughts from Down Under: Even with the new body kits the cars look the same for the most part, at least to me. One way to stand out is to hire top-notch graphic artists to make the cars look cool with the sponsors included, Hollywood style, if you will. Ask any art school student to come up with a cool IndyCar paint job and I’m sure they can be more creative than the “Steak and Shake” scheme from Team Rahal. Sorry, I don’t mean to pick on them (they come to mind because they are going so well!) but they aren’t the only one. And yes, Penske could do better too. Don’t you think?
Jason Mulveny, Sydney, Australia

RM: Sometimes, if you’re lucky enough, you get a new sponsor in IndyCar and it has a distinct color or design it wants to showcase its product. So, as cool as Townsend Bell’s car is painted (LEFT, Marshall Pruett photo), it’s because Robert Graham is all about the look whereas Steak & Shake is more traditional. I get what you’re saying, but your dance partner usually makes that call.

Q: Obviously Honda is lacking a touch across the board with the new aero kits…would IndyCar allow them to make design changes throughout the year to close the gap or are the stuck with what they have and just have to figure out how to make those 200+ parts work?

RM: It’s permissible in the rulebook that if Honda was so far behind it could appeal to IndyCar for a chance to go back to the drawing board and catch up but Steve Erickson of Honda has already said there’s no plan to do that. Manufacturers are allowed to make upgrades/changes in certain areas for 2016 so that’s what Honda is going to concentrate on while working to improve its current aero package under the rules.

Q: This month is one of the most important for motorsports: Indianapolis and Monaco. But it was 21 years ago that one of the greatest and a future upcoming star were lost on that black weekend of Imola. We are remembering Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger. I recalled when Senna tested for Roger Penske in 1992. I wondered if he was very serious about jumping the pond during those days? He also considered running a Ferrari. What would have happened if Penske had Senna in his roster?
JLS, Chicago, Ill.

RM: Senna enjoyed his test at Firebird Raceway in Phoenix and Emerson Fittipaldi encouraged him to quit F1 for CART but he declined. Had he come over for 1993 with Nigel Mansell, here’s what would have happened: what turned out to be some of the biggest crowds ever in American open wheel would have tripled. And Bernie would have hung himself.

ABOVE: Danica remains a strong draw with fans. Photo: LAT)

Q: The GoDaddy announcement of the end of their sponsorship of Danica’s car included the following. “NASCAR has been a tremendous domestic platform to help us achieve an 81 percent aided brand awareness domestically, but at this stage, we need a range of marketing assets that reach a more globally-diverse set of customers.” I’ve read speculation that this signaled the possibility that they would follow Gene Haas to F1. GoDaddy further went on to say that they would have a personal services contract with Danica. I don’t see Danica getting a permanent seat in F1. But I can see some collaboration in marketing, especially at COTA. This could make some sense if she stays with Stewart-Haas. Not too sure of the rumors of her move to Roush Fenway. Would Chevy (or Ford) have a conflict with a driver working with a Ferrari-powered F1 team?
Rob, Spring Hill, Tenn.

RM: I think you’ve got as good a shot at F1 as DP and I don’t think she’s interested or Bernie is interested or Haas is interested in that scenario. A one-off with GoDaddy at COTA sounds intriguing until you consider how uncompetitive it would be. I speculated she was headed for Roush in 2016 but I definitely think she’s leaving Stewart-Haas.

Q: Once again, I sure am thankful I was not working at the IMS ticket office when the announcement came out regarding Nastia Liukin being named the grand marshal. Phones and internet orders must have been going crazy! What part of this bio doesn’t scream American open-wheel racing!

“Beyond gymnastics, Liukin has embarked on several successful business ventures, including modeling for BCBG/Max Azria; teaming up with Fisher-Price to introduce a new interactive Dora the Explorer doll, “Fantastic Gymnastics Dora”; launched Supergirl by Nastia, a line of signature clothing at JC Penney; designed her own leotard line with GK/Elite Sportswear and a signature line of training gymnastics equipment with AAI; served on the creative team and performed in the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions; and was a reporter for the television coverage of the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Really, Robin, at what point do you give up hope that anyone in charge has the brains to turn this around? My hope is long gone.
DA in Chicago

RM: I haven’t had much hope since 1996 but I gave up all hope after they ran Randy Bernard out of town.

Q: The USGP F1 track record set in 2004 is 1:10.399 by Rubens with a 900hp Ferrari. The layout was slightly longer at 2.605 miles with 13 turns. Numerous current F1 track records are still held from the 2004 season. The GP track has been shortened to 2.439 miles (876′) and 13 turns. Power does a 1:09:4886. Are current IndyCar’s as fast as the fastest F1 cars? If not, what am I missing?
Don Dahler, Minneapolis

RM: When Champ Car and F1 ran the same circuit in Montreal, I think F1 cars were four to five seconds a lap quicker but I imagine it would be closer at IMS.

Q: I read the Mailbag every week, and I’d like to offer a public service message to potential writers to the Mailbag: PLEASE keep your questions (and frequently commentary) to 250 words or less. When confronted with a big block of stream-of-consciousness opining, most of us skip it and go directly to Robin’s answer. For example, last week, there was a 440-word essay composed of pain-inducing sentences like the following: “I concur wholeheartedly and without equivocation that standing starts for road and street course races must be made mandatory for 2016.” How about just, “I agree that standing starts are a must for road and street courses”? The long stuff is painful to your fellow Mailbag readers. I’m sure it’s even more painful to Robin, who actually has to read the whole thing.
S.P. Brown, Grand Junction, Colo.

RM: Thanks for that PSA. Here’s my take: I’m always amazed at how many of you fans take the time (and have the passion) to write The Mailbag 52 weeks a year. And, yes, people do veer off a little bit while making a point or asking a question and sometimes I either edit those down or ask the author to re-submit in shorter form. But when you have a six-month off-season, it’s always easier to work in a long rant during November. During the season, we have a big volume and the more concise the better and the more questions we can use. But I appreciate all the opinions, facts, corrections, pictures and invitations you folks send in. It makes Mondays and Tuesdays interesting.

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