Robin Miller's Mailbag for July 25, presented by Honda Racing / HPD

Robin Miller's Mailbag for July 25, presented by Honda Racing / HPD

Insights & Analysis

Robin Miller's Mailbag for July 25, presented by Honda Racing / HPD


Image by LePage/LAT

Q: I was looking back at all the races this year and I can’t remember a time where Bourdais has made more unforced errors in a season. Am I correct? Yes, all drivers make unforced errors, but it seems like Bourdais is making more than I can ever remember for him. He has such a strong group behind him it just doesn’t compute. Granted, I am still upset that Dale has pumped so much money into his program for Bourdais, whereas Justin didn’t have a fraction of that money pumped into the program. I remember you always saying that if Justin Wilson had driven for Ganassi or Penske he would have had a totally different legacy in IndyCar (which I completely agree with). However, I feel that if he would have had the money influx that Dale has done in the past two years, Justin would have flourished – not to the level of Chip or Roger, but definitely more wins and consistency. Still miss the guy.

Josh R., Salem, OR

RM: Seb crashed at Indy and Toronto (his tangle at Long Beach wasn’t his fault) and I don’t think that’s excessive, especially since he’s trying to keep up with the Big 3. He’s got a win and a pole, and was looking at victory in Barber with a little luck, so I don’t think he’s lost too much. No doubt JWill would have flourished with the tech staff DCR has assembled today, but he and Bill Pappas won Watkins Glen and could have blossomed if Dale had kept them together.

Q: Why doesn’t IndyCar on road and street courses start two-wide after a yellow? Wouldn’t that be a little more exciting then single-file restarts? Well, I am ready for another oval race, so I will taking the 700-mile trip to Pocono next month. I’ll come down and say hello, if that’s okay?

Brian Lancaster, West Lafayette

RM: I understand it would be difficult at narrow joints like Toronto, but all the road courses would be fair game and it just livens things up for the fans. So does standing starts at places like Long Beach and Toronto (although this year’s Toronto start was the best I’ve seen in eons). Please say hello at Pocono.

Q: Your piece on Morris Nunn is a delight to read; really well done. Elements of Dale Coyne. Any good side story you can tell?

Ron Ford, Muskego, WI

RM: Bernie called Morris for the F1 pre-season press conference and he declined because he didn’t have enough money for the plane ticket (I think it was in Paris). So Ecclestone sent his private jet to deliver Mr. Nunn. In the press briefing, Mo was asked about the coming season and said it was looking shaky because he had no sponsor and no prospects. Afterwards, Bernie read him the riot act and said: “Don’t ever tell people you don’t have any money or any future. Just lie until we can figure something out.” Then I believe he gave Mo two new engines and $50,000. But I can tell you that Morris and Bill Finley came from the same cloth – self-made racers that could do everything.

Q: Helluva testimonial to a pillar of the IndyCar community of the past. Wonderful tribute to a robust, successful and varied racing career. May you rest in peace, Morris Nunn, and thanks for all the happiness and fun that you provided to race fans across the Pond and in the USA.

Tom Fitzgerald, CPA

RM: Thanks to Derek Daly, Juan Pablo Montoya and Alex Zanardi for providing their perspectives on “Momito,” His wife, Kathryn, just sent me a photo of him sitting in his first race car [above] and that smile says it all. He was a born racer, he just didn’t know it until he was 25 years old. I always felt honored to be his friend and listening to his amazing stories while he was kicking my ass on the golf course.

Q: It seems Santino Ferrucci’s European racing career fell apart in just a few days. What’s your take on his behavior and the response to it? I’m personally unimpressed with him for all of it, but I still feel badly to see a young American gunning for F1 going out like this. How do you think his behavior would have played out if he had done it in, let’s say, an Indy Lights car instead of F2 and American racing was to be the judge of how he acted?

Max Camposano, Los Altos, CA

RM: It sounds there was more to his termination than what happened on the track, but I would imagine he’d have been fined or suspended (or both) over here.

Q: I attended the Toronto Indy race. The Indy Lights race featured a grid of seven cars. Colton Herta, who was injured, pulled out after a few laps (and points gained) and another guy parked it for financial reasons. He told the crowd in a broadcast interview that a crash would financially ruin him! So that left a race with three real runners and two no-hopers. This is ‘The Road To Indy? More like a shabby little back alley, going nowhere. Why does IndyCar allow this farce to continue?

Snuffy Smith

RM: You can’t penalize or blame Michael Andretti, Brian Belardi, Ricardo Juncos and Dale Pelfrey for fielding Lights cars, and sure it’s sad there aren’t double digits in terms of entries, but five or those kids are damn good racers. Hopefully it will get better, but I was looking at an old On Track magazine the other day and there were some Atlantic and Lights fields of 11-14 back in the day, and Pro Mazda and F2000 both have strong fields this year so Lights will come around.

Q: I love Formula 1, but sometimes they are just stupid. I’m watching an empty track in Free Practice 3 because the FIA would not allocate an extra set of rain tires. Any team that goes on track will be at a disadvantage and qualifying in the race. I guess when you have 400 million fans you can afford the cheese off a few million of them. Please tell me IndyCar has somebody watching Formula 1 and NASCAR, taking notes, and making sure they don’t repeat their mistakes.

John Masden, Georgetown, IN

RM: Hate to say it but there are periods of times at IndyCar races when there’s not much going on because there aren’t enough tires. I think that’s one reason the practice sessions have been reduced to 45 minutes at some places.