Robin Miller's Mailbag for January 10, presented by Honda Racing / HPD

Robin Miller's Mailbag for January 10, presented by Honda Racing / HPD

IndyCar

Robin Miller's Mailbag for January 10, 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, California-based company at: 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, Robin will pass these on to Marshall Pruett and he will also answer here.

Q: I spent the holiday season binging on old Indy 500 review shows. The ’90s shows were filled with drivers saying “I grew up watching Indy” or “My love affair with the Speedway began right about there,” as they point at the grandstands. Contrast this with today, and it seems like the young drivers find IndyCar as a fallback when their Formula 1 dreams come crashing down (e.g. Newgarden, Daly and Rossi). Which of today’s drivers dreamed of being an IndyCar driver? How can we make Indy an aspiration again?

Is it time to drastically reimagine the sport in order to make it more accessible for/attractive to American oval racers? Should/could equipment be changed to have more in common with a sprint car or supermodified? I hated the IRL in 1996, however the international community has long since moved on from IndyCar racing. Perhaps now is the time for a change even more drastic than the IRL? A vibrant, competitive, successful AOWR scene could attract world respect more than a poor imitation of CART’s heyday. NASCAR was even able to attract interest from the F1 community for a short period of time. What do you think?

Ben Shupe, Bluff City, TN

RM: In the late 1980s, up-and-coming drivers were still saying Indy was their dream or goal, and that included Jeff Gordon, among others. Being an Indy 500 driver in the ’60s and ’70s was top of the line and what most aspired to be, but when USAC removed the dirt cars from the Championship Trail, outlawed rear-engine sprinters and then went to war with the car owners, everything changed. Dirt racers were no longer in demand and road racing began squeezing oval trackers out, and then owners started selling rides to the highest bidder. Despite his obvious talent, Gordon was asked how much money he could bring to a CART team, so he started looking south and that became the trend because a promising USAC driver (Kenny Irwin, Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart) could get hired in NASCAR and it still holds true today (Kyle Larson and Chris Bell).

Rides aren’t as plentiful as they were, but compared to IndyCar and Formula 1, NASCAR is about the only viable option without bringing money. An F1 test costs some ridiculous sum of money, and nobody over there seems too concerned whether there’s ever another American driver. The kids in the Mazda Road to Indy all aspire for IndyCar rides, but realistically there are 25 guys for every Newgarden that will NEVER get a sniff without bringing money. And, without Sarah Fisher, Wink Hartman and Ed Carpenter, not sure Josef isn’t a sports car driver today, despite his skills. But kids/parents see how long a NASCAR drivers career lasts, how much more money can be made and how many more opportunities are available, so it’s become the No. 1 destination. IndyCar isn’t going back to front-engine cars and dirt tracks, so just take in Indiana Sprint Week this July and enjoy it. Or watch the Chili Bowl on MavTV this Saturday night.

Q: I have a couple of questions and an opinion on a hot topic. I am a fan of Graham Rahal, so I am glad that he is getting a shot with Team Penske to win his second Rolex 24. However, I have been wondering since they announced Rahal’s arrival at Team Penske for the endurance races, why would Roger go outside to get a driver for those races? Do Will Power and Josef Newgarden not have any interest in running sportscars and possibly winning the Rolex 24? Is this foreshadowing Graham’s future arrival at Team Penske in IndyCar? Would he ever leave his father’s team? I feel like the Rolex 24 would be another opportunity to market and promote Josef in the world of racing, and not just IndyCar.

This leads me to my next question. It seems as if everyone wants to blame IndyCar for not doing enough to promote Josef Newgarden, and sure, they could do more to promote him. I feel like it is partly Josef’s responsibility to promote and market himself, as well as IndyCar. I am a fan of Josef and he is a hell of a racer, but he does nothing to promote IndyCar or his own brand, outside of race weekends in the race season, in my opinion. These guys do not need to share everything that they are doing on social media. They are entitled to their privacy. But he is more silent on social media than most of the other guys, it seems. This is different than what I would expect, because he has such a great personality and is great with the fans. I cannot tell you one thing that Josef Newgarden did over the offseason, and in today’s world, you cant really put that on IndyCar, in my opinion. NBA players don’t look to the NBA to build their brand. NFL players do not look to NFL to build their brand and market themselves. NASCAR drivers do not depend on NASCAR to build their brand and market themselves.

I’m not picking on Josef, I believe this is a common problem among most of the garage in IndyCar, and is part of why IndyCar struggles to bring in fans. Graham Rahal does a great job of marketing himself and building his brand, and that is probably why he has been able to attract sponsorship the way he does. He does a great job of connecting with the fans outside of race season. Maybe, we just need him to win the 2018 championship to elevate IndyCar. This all coming from a longtime and loyal IndyCar fan!

Derek, Riverside, CA

RM: We’ll let Team Penske president Tim Cindric answer your first question: “We only had two part-time spots and Simon and Rahal have deeper relationships with Honda as well as prototype experience. Wish we could run them all. Hoping they get a chance in the future.”

As for the suggestion that Newgarden doesn’t promote IndyCar, nothing could be further from the truth. For the last few years he’s done whatever IndyCar asked him to do in the off-season to promote the sport, be it videos or chats or appearances. He’s even got his own video producer to spread the word since he won the championship. But he doesn’t have the resources to do national TV commercials, and that’s where IndyCar or Team Penske or a sponsor needs to step up. NASCAR has a deep war chest and doesn’t hesitate to market its drivers, plus it also has sponsors willing to do the same, and that’s what IndyCar is lacking. Josef might be a little less available to IndyCar because of his Team Penske commitments but he’s always gone the extra mile. And, of course, Graham would go drive for The Captain if a ride was offered. Hell, I think before R.P. decided to downsize to three cars that Rahal may have been in the frame for Helio’s seat.


Q: Why has Harding Racing not officially been confirmed to be doing the full 2018 season with Gabby Chaves? They’re listed on the official IndyCar website, they’re on the Wikipedia page, and it’s basically said as fact by everyone that they’re gonna be doing the full season, but it hasn’t been officially confirmed by the team themselves that they’ll be running the full 2018 season. I know they’ve got Barnhart and Unser with them now, so what are they waiting for? Is there a second car in the works they’re waiting for before they make an official 2018 press release? Is there any chance of them not actually running the full season?

Joey

RM: They’ve got a Leader’s Circle franchise so I can guarantee you they will be running the full season, and I’m not sure there is any official announcement in the wings. Mike Harding said last summer he was going to run Gabby full-time in 2018, and he’s charging ahead with more people and a new shop location. Might he run a second car at Indy? I’m sure he’ll consider it, depending on how things are going, but it’s important to focus on Chaves because running all the races is a lot different than just a few.

Q: Conor Daly said the he had lost potential sponsor to fund his IndyCar before Christmas, and he is now exploring NASCAR Xfinity Series options. What sort of budget he’s looking to find, how much does he need to raise to race full schedule in lower ranked team, and top one as well?

Marcin Bugala, Peterborough, England, UK

RM: I believe he was looking for $2 million to try and secure the second seat at Dale Coyne, but no luck so far and now it may be too late for that team anyway, I would think he’d need $4-5 million for Andretti or Ganassi.

Q: Was Ed Carpenter Racing close to not running the No. 20 car the full season? That’s the only logic I can see for taking Jordan King’s money. The guy is a less-talented version of Stefano Coletti – and we know how that worked out. Almost all of his results in GP2 came in the silly sprint race with the reverse grid (both of his wins and five of his six podiums). I know he wasn’t with the best team this past season, but the reason he was with that team is that he was trounced by a middling teammate the year before. Given that the kid is likely to struggle mightily, wouldn’t Pigot be better served in a one-car situation like Rahal has had the last few years, where the team could focus all their energy on him?

Kyle W.

RM: No, I think King’s money was necessary to help give Pigot and ECR a better shot at staying competitive. Fuzzy’s has been loyal and a great sponsor for Ed Carpenter, but it’s not mega bucks and everyone in the paddock needs as much financial help as possible so this was simply good business. If King’s money helps Spencer get to a wind tunnel or shaker rig test or affords another good engineer or helper, then it’s worth it. I didn’t know anything about King until I read your letter, but this figures to be the year that weeds out the men from the boys in a hurry with the new aero kit.

Q: Back in 2005 I watched Helio dance his way to win the Mirror Ball Trophy on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ and that led me to follow IndyCar. I didn’t know anything about any type of racing. I was very lucky to meet him at Iowa Speedway, and I am very disappointed that he will know longer be driving the No. 3. For me, he is the face of IndyCar. I love his enthusiasm and the attention he brought to the sport. I watch everything that he is a part of. I have many collectibles that he autographed. Of all of the remaining IndyCar drivers, there is not a single one that I want to follow. I have been trying to read about IMSA, but can you please help me understand how this type of racing works? I need to catch up quick so I can continue to follow Helio. I always taped Indy but forwarded through the race until I saw the No. 3 or when he was on camera. I hate to say it, but even with the changes for 2018, I have lost all interest.

Patricia K

RM: Helio’s absence will be felt by the fans and media alike because, as you say, he was one of the faces of IndyCar for the past 20 years and easily the most popular driver along with pal Tony Kanaan. He and Juan Pablo Montoya are running the IMSA WeatherTech series for Team Penske and that consists of 12 races – Daytona and Sebring consisting of 24 and 12 hours, respectively, so Simon Pagenaud and Graham Rahal are added for those events. Castroneves will still be at Indy in May, so come cheer him on.


Q: What’s the rest of the story about Sato’s move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan? He finally made it to a major team with the resources to put a winning car under him, and then he bails! I feel bad for Michael, because if memory serves, this is the third time (Wheldon, Franchitti and now Sato) that he’s lost an Indy 500 winner to another team. Now RLL, not Andretti Autosport, gets to promote its driver as the reigning Indy 500 champ. Did Honda have anything to do with it? What happened?

JB in Minneapolis

RM: One of the major stories last year from July on was whether Andretti was switching to Chevrolet. There was enough uncertainty that Sato decided he had to make a move, and Honda helped facilitate the RLL deal. Obviously, Michael opted to stay with Honda, but lost Takuma in the process.

Q: IndyCar’s hiring of Kyle Novak as its new Race Director seems like a good choice. I noted IndyCar’s announcement appears to limit Novak’s role to that of Race Director and not the “weekday job” as IndyCar’s Vice President of Competition that Brian Barnhart also held. Is this correct, or am I reading too much into IndyCar’s announcement? Who is going to be filling the leadership role in the competition side of IndyCar? Perhaps an internal promotion?

Mark Graham, Naperville, IL

RM: The bottom line is that there isn’t much for the Race Director to do as far as being full-time and in the office every day, so the plan all along was to have an independent contractor fill Barnhart’s position. Jay Frye remains the president of competition and operations, no changes or additions.

Q: How much money would I need to start a brand-new IndyCar team with Conor Daly and Matt Brabham as my drivers?

Paul, Indianapolis

RM: You need a shop, a transporter for each car, 20-30 mechanics, a couple engineers, pit equipment, four cars with spares and whatever you pay your drivers. I’d say $20 million to do it right but you could probably squeak by on $10 million to get started.

Q: It seems like Zachary Claman De Melo is all but a lock for the second Coyne car, although I was encouraged by Conor’s positivity on Marshall’s podcast. Are there any other potential openings? Maybe a second Juncos car or something? I know I’m grasping at straws, unfortunately. Is there anything we can do as fans to support someone in Conor’s situation to help them get ride?

Matt from Philly

RM: According to Marshall’s story, Jack Hawksworth is also in the frame at Coyne, but as for Conor, unless you can write DC a check for $2 million ASAP, I don’t see anything on the horizon for 2018.

Q: I thought Juncos Racing signed Kyle Kaiser for four races in 2018. The latest article on RACER.com has Rene Binder starting the season with Juncos at St. Pete with a four-race deal. Is Kaiser out, or does this bring Juncos up to eight races in 2018 with four races for each of them?

Mark Zac, Discovery Bay, CA

RM: Yep, Ricardo will field a car in eight races with two different drivers.

Q: I really think IndyCar missed the boat with promoting Josef this year after he won the championship. They should’ve done Chevy, Firestone, and Verizon commercials, along with other companies. With NBCSN being part of the NBC family, they could’ve had him host ‘Saturday Night Live.’ Now how funny would he have been on there? IndyCar got the American champion they’ve wanted, and they didn’t tell anyone. There were so many opportunities to promote him. He has a great personality and he would’ve hit home runs.

Eric, London, OH

RM: As we’ve been preaching, it’s imperative for your sponsors/partners or the series to market and promote the champion, and JoNew has been MIA for fourth months. Obviously, NBCSN has no clout with SNL, and he’s not a big enough name yet to get the nod anyway, but it’s that kind of platform that IndyCar needs so desperately. And, yes, he would be a home run with any kind of national exposure that brings out his personality.

Q: I’m an IndyCar fan and I’ve been happy that the series has regained some of its prestige – even if slowly. I think Jay Frye has been great, and the series is more solid now than six years ago. But that does not stop me from being annoyed by constant errors and the eternal “one step forward, two backwards.” On January 2, RACER.com published a story that shows that cars in 2018 will be heavier than last year. One of the allegations posted on the IndyCar website was that the new body would be lighter and faster, but now it’s heavier, probably slower and there is nothing on the horizon about adding HPs.

To make matters worse, they will add extra ballast while the aeroscreen is not added, which for me is also a tremendous nonsense. Halo or aeroscreen wouldn’t have saved Bianchi, and the Wilson crash could be avoided if the car didn’t release so much debris after the crash – which IndyCar corrected by fixing car parts. And we’re talking about rare, very rare accidents. The identity of open-wheel will be drastically modified. And in the case of IndyCar, it may be the end of one of the great hits in your virtual channels: the onboard camera on the helmet, the visor cam. As always, one step forward, two steps back. It is difficult to understand the meaning of this.

Wanderson Marcal, Sao Paulo, Brazil

RM: I don’t care how heavy the car is, but if the new aero kit makes the racing better on short ovals and road courses then it’s a winner. Not a fan of any kind of aero screen or halo, and hopefully it won’t be too pronounced.


 

Q: I just read that Eddie Cheever (ZZZzzzzz….sorry I fell asleep saying his name) is a finalist for the open-wheel category for the Motorsports HOF. How is this possible? He has five total wins in an open-wheel career that started in 1978. His wins were in the extremely watered-down IRL where he beat guys like Dan the Dentist and Bill the Butcher. By the way, any Indy 500 win those first years before any CART team joined shouldn’t even count! How in the hell is five wins a HOF career?

Chris, Ft Lauderdale FL

RM: I guess an IRL 500 win counts for more than we thought, but I agree with your analysis in that the HOF should reward excellence. Cheever was a decent driver and had a couple good runs in F1 before migrating to CART, but his career certainly doesn’t make you think HOF. It’s more like WTF?

Q: Marco Andretti turned laps in a TQ Midget indoor in Allentown, Pennsylvania, last Saturday evening. Marco was patient, accommodating, and gracious with the fans, signing autographs and posing for photos. I interviewed him on the P.A., and he was open and upbeat. So my question is this: Why cannot IndyCar see the value in getting their guys out to tracks at the grassroots level in the offseason? Marco lives close to Allentown, of course, and his drive was at the invitation of Kyle Lick, a friend from his go-kart days, but even if one were to factor in travel and lodging costs, such appearances would have to rate as one of the most affordable ways to build and maintain a fan base. IndyCar’s failure to court the fans of local racing is self-fulfilling: Grassroots fans pay less and less attention to IndyCar because IndyCar pays no attention to them.

Bob Marlow, Lavallette, NJ

RM: Marco looked like he enjoyed it, as one would imagine. The reason IndyCar doesn’t embrace the grass roots fans and send a couple drivers to the Chili Bowl every year (and have a booth manned with drivers all week) or promote an Andretti at Allentown is because IndyCar doesn’t know its audience. Marco made more fans with his hot laps in Allentown than IndyCar is going to get all week at the Detroit Auto Show, and if JoNew or Rahal or Hinch spent a week in Tulsa it would make them a few thousand new fans that might actually watch at IndyCar race.

Q: With the stock market on the rise and a new corporate tax plan in place, it appears the business landscape is in pretty good shape at the present time. Do you think this might lead to more sponsorships? (I recall after the last financial crisis that seemed to effect sponsorship negatively).

Kevin Crago, Cincinnati

RM: Good lord Kevin, I’m still trying to figure out how Marvin Lewis kept his job with the Bengals, so I have no insight on your question. But as the stock market crests 25,000 then obviously some companies might be willing to listen to a pitch, but it’s still got to make business sense.

Q: Like a lot of IndyCar fans, I can’t wait for the race in St. Pete on March 9-11. With the new season just around the corner and the debut race of the new car, it’ll be great to see our new American Champion JoNew defend his title. So, given that talk is cheap, and I’ll for sure be going to the race again – I still have my inaugural T-shirt from the 2003 St. Pete Grand Prix – I’ve sponsored the creation of INDYFEST 2018!

It’ll provide my fellow IndyCar fans the chance to be on the main straight (Grandstand 4) across from the big Jumbotron and also be next to the pit lane, it will entitle them also to a paddock pass, plus a grid walk on Sunday before the race on the pit lane, seeing the drivers getting strapped into their new 2018 IndyCars! Plus, each ticket bought will benefit the local St. Pete/Tampa Scouts. It will include parking with a free shuttle to and from Tropicana field, and three days admission on top of everything else mentioned!

(Our link to sign up is here). After all the times I’ve been, I’ve never been able to meet the one person I want an autograph from: Mr. Robin Miller! So here’s my question, will you come by our group to visit?

Jeff, Tampa, FL

RM: It sounds like a good cause so I wish you well, and if I’m at the race I’ll definitely come see you.

Q: Any chance Firestone makes the blacks and reds have a bigger discrepancy in 2018? It always seems like everyone races on the reds and only uses the blacks because they have to. It would be nice if the reds dropped off more. I think it would add more excitement for us remaining fans.

Mark, Altadena, CA

RM: Here’s a response from Firestone: “As part of the development process for the universal aero kit, Firestone Racing is evaluating opportunities to increase the gap between the primary (black sidewall) and alternate (red sidewall) tires. The plan is to make the Barber alternate compound softer to increase the gap. The first three street courses will see similar compounds to 2017, with testing of new street course compounds taking place in Sebring next month that are intended for Toronto.”

Q: I’ve written before about taking lessons from F1, which you hate, but back in 2005 F1 tried races without tire changes. With budgets tight for Indy teams, won’t it be good if Firestone is asked to reduce the allocation of tires for the weekend or month of May? They could limit the tire use for the 500 to just three sets, and one set per day for the practice and qualifying days. With the kind of tech Firestone has, there should be only a minimal effect on the lap times.

HJC

RM: It might be an effective way to save some money, but unlike a road or street course, we’re talking the fastest oval on the planet, and Firestone is all about safety first, so I don’t know how they’d feel about your scenario. On the flipside there have been some good races at Texas and Iowa when the tires go off, so it’s obviously doable. But limiting tires at Indy would go against speed, Pole Day, etc. so I doubt it would fly. And there is a big difference in lap times when tires go off.


Q: Sometimes racing fans can take things a little too seriously, and I may be late to the ball on this one. Arie Luyendyk, aka “The Flying Dutchman,” was a hero during his time running in the month of May at Indy. Loved watching him behind the wheel. Would you have anything to say about Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s racing career?

Mark, Floyds Knobs, IN

RM: I think Junior raced because his dad did and it was accessible, and he was just another guy that tried but didn’t have that drive his father possessed.

Q: How come IMSA can have all those engines and different chassis, and IndyCar cannot? Is it due to the crash safety issues for IndyCars that IMSA does not require? On the engine front, why can’t IndyCar adopt a formula identical to IMSA – then we would have six engine suppliers?

I enjoy all your A.J. stuff!

Bill Krill, Milwaukee

RM: It’s just different philosophies and formulas. Don’t see a big line of engine manufacturers that want to pony up the millions it takes to compete in IndyCar, and I don’t see IndyCar changing its formula any time soon. And, even if IndyCar did change its rules, there is no guarantee the sports car set would come running. It seems to like its diversity and classes.

Q: Can you talk a little bit about the founding of the World of Outlaws and its creator Ted Johnson? I’ve always wondered about the story of the founding of the series back in 1978. I know it came at a time when USAC had some major problems including the tragic airplane crash, Tony Hulman’s passing, and the USAC/CART split. Did any or all of these events have an effect on the founding of the WoO? Did Ted Johnson lure the best USAC guys at the time to come to WoO? Finally, stupid question maybe, but why did they put wings on the cars? I assume it was just to differentiate WoO sprints from USAC sprints, given that those wings can’t actually help the cars very much, right?

Clint, Chicago

RM: I didn’t know Ted other than to say hello once or twice a year, but I don’t think USAC’s troubles had anything to do with his brainchild. I found a column I wrote about him in 1978, and he said it’s time to unite outlaw sprint car racers and make it an organized, traveling show that gives teams and drivers some stability. And he pulled it off with racers like Steve Kinser, Doug Wolfgang, Sammy Swindell, Rick Ferkel, Danny Smith and Shane Carson. Wings made the cars faster along with making them different from USAC, and they’ve also cushioned many a hard crash.

Q: With the frigid cold temperatures here in NJ this week, it was the perfect time to catch up on some reading, so I read Black Noon about the 1964 Indy 500 and loved every page. It did a great job putting you in that era and how little regulations there were. You could run any kind of fuel you wanted, any tire you wanted and run what you brought. Plus, no limits on the amount of fuel that you could have in the car sounds insane by today’s standards, especially with no fuel cells. I can’t believe how big the purse was for the race, and how you could make more money running the Indy 500 than you could running the entire F1 season. In Damon Hill’s book he said Graham made so much money from his win that he bought a private plane! What do you think the purse would have to be today to make it as lucrative?

Jim Doyle, Hoboken, NJ

RM: I think $1 million to start and $10 million to win would be enticing enough to draw some major players – be it F1, NASCAR or sports cars. But IMS needs to find a title sponsor for that to happen, because nothing is ever going to change without one and getting $200,000 to make Indy as an outsider doesn’t begin to cover your expenses. I think Clark made $4,000 for winning his first F1 title and in 1965 he got 40 or 50 percent of $166,000 for winning Indianapolis.

Q: Over the Christmas break I watched a 1974 movie called ‘The Formula One Drivers’ aka ‘The Quick and the Dead,’ which highlighted the dangers that F1 drivers faced during a dangerous era of the sport. Peter Revson was one of the drivers interviewed in the movie who were lost that year and honored at the end of the film. The one part of the movie that I found interesting was the several minutes that Sir Jackie Stewart was driving a Rolls Royce around the Nurburgring giving detailed commentary about the track and preferred racing lines. The man just oozes coolness, and I could sit and listen to him talk racing all day long. It’s obvious that he sincerely loves the sport of racing.

I remember as a young child standing next to my dad at IMS in the late ’70s and watching Jackie Stewart interview A.J. Foyt, and waiting for them to finish so that my dad could get autographs from both men. Did anyone ever offer Jackie Stewart a full-time ride in IndyCar or, at a minimum, a ride in the Indy 500? Did Jackie ever show any interest in running an IndyCar? If not, I find it interesting that he would have a desire to serve as a commentator for a race series he wasn’t interested in. Lastly, with all of the changes taking place in IndyCar, and with Tony George not running the series any longer, has Gerald Forsythe begun to show any interest in returning to AOWR by participating in IndyCar as a team owner?

James Jackson, Livonia, MI

RM: I worked with Jackie in the 1980s and we talked about a lot of things, but he never mentioned wanting to be anything but an F1 driver. I imagine he had offers to run IndyCar but he only did Indy for the money (see the letter above yours) and he did commentary on ABC for good money (and because he loves to talk). He’s a fascinating character with a commanding presence and a delight to be around, and I’ll always treasure those days when I was his “source” for the month of May.

Q: Why doesn’t IndyCar share weekends with NASCAR? Do you think IndyCar needs to share weekends to draw bigger crowds/gain more fans? Outside of Lights, open-wheel feeder series aren’t that exciting. Why doesn’t IndyCar run in ISC tracks? Watkins Glen popped up recently, but no others. Finally, with NASCAR buying Grand-Am a few years ago, do you see them ever buying IndyCar? I think for IndyCar and even NASCAR, giving fans more will be beneficial for sponsors, fans and ratings if they get more.

Ryley in Tampa

RM: NASCAR wants nothing to do with sharing a program with IndyCar. Why would you want to go 50mph a lap slower at a place like Phoenix and then promote how fast and exciting your racing was? IndyCar does run at Phoenix and Iowa (both ISC tracks) so there is at least a willingness to try and help each other (thanks to Jay Frye’s connections). I can’t see NASCAR buying IndyCar, or anything related to open-wheel – it failed with motorcycles and currently has sports cars, but it’s got plenty of issues without taking on another one.

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