Q: First it was great to hear Paul Page with a truly moving tribute. Hopefully NBC will bring him on in some capacity. Second, it is clear Helio doesn’t want to be done with IndyCar. Based on Penske’s comments it seems unlikely he is back next year. With the McLaren rumors heating up, any chance Helio bails and teams with Alonso? Taking my 9-year old to Iowa for the first time. Hopefully we see you brother.
Tate in Kansas
RM: I said the same thing when they asked Roger about Helio on ABC, but afterwards Tim Cindric said the three-time winner would be back at Indy next year.
Q: It appeared that ABC could not wait to end their relationship with the 500. All the stories people were waiting to hear about, just set aside for a replay of the F1 race. Good riddance, ABC.
Doug Faulkner, Wichita, KS
RM: Monaco supposedly got its highest cable rating ever, while Indy continued its downward spiral and only had a 3.4 overnight.
Q: What is the history of betting on the Indy 500? Given how old it is I’d imagine there are huge stretches of time where LOTS of people bet on the 500. Was there a time when you could bet on a car right at the track before the race?
RM: The only place to bet on the Indy 500 has been Las Vegas, and not every sports book has odds for the race. It just doesn’t generate much action. But it there were betting windows outside IMS, I guarantee you there would be a huge handle and now that Indiana has the OK for sports gambling, it’s going to happen some day.
Q: I saw on IndyCar.com that Bobby Unser was honored guest to celebrate his first win at Indy 500 years ago. Sounds like he was roasted pretty good by Roger Penske, Rutherford, Mears, Little Al, and Parnelli. Will there be any video available?
Brian Stevens, Willoughby, OH
RM: Marshal Pruett and Jim Roeder filmed the Unser roast, and hopefully we can have it posted on RACER.com and YouTube sometime in the next week or so.
Q: I don’t know if you realize that this year marks 40 years since the Triple crown was won by Big Al (Unser Sr) and his crew chief Hughie Absalom, something no one in Indy thought would ever happen, but they achieved the impossible in 1978. I hope we may see a tribute in RACER from yourself, as I think IndyCar has forgotten about this important achievement.
RM: I’m planning to write something for RACER, thanks.
Q: Hey Robin, I was wondering if you and Pruett were collecting checks from Government Motors this past month. The both of you could not stop gushing about the apparent engine advantage Chevy had at the Speedway this year, and a rather embarrassing question you pressed upon Mike Hull after qualifying (I seem to recall you mentioning a “butt-kicking”). I don’t remember the same kind of obvious bias when Honda destroyed Chevy last year.
Rob, London, ON
RM: Stating the obvious that Chevy had the advantage in qualifying was one of the big stories so we reported it, just like a year ago when we said the same thing about Honda. And after Chevy-powered cars led 150 of the 200 laps during the race, I think GM deserved the plaudits were gave them. Just like we did in 2017 with Honda.