Q: Really? Seriously? As if his piss-poor on-track actions weren’t enough to prevent him from competing in our top series (it should be more than enough). His joke of an apology, his defense of his actions on Twitter and the grand daddy of them all, the outright blatant racism from him and his garbage father, corroborated by many, many people in that paddock. Shame on you, Dale Coyne. I loved seeing your team do well. I love rooting for Seabass. This is downright shameful. How dare you give these people a vehicle for their actions? Of all of the lousy ways to make a buck. Shame on you. You want a PR nightmare on your hands? You’ll get it. The series included. Revoke his and his father’s hardcards, and put out a press release doubling down on zero tolerance for any and all racism, unless you’re interested in killing all of the momentum we have going right now. If I were Alonso I would certainly think twice about joining a series that would allow someone like that to compete in it. Any decent person wouldn’t want to be anywhere close to that. Do the right thing Mr. Coyne and Mr. Miles. Be the leaders we can be proud of.
RM: So I assume you are talking about Santino Ferrucci and you are not a big fan of giving someone a second chance? Obviously he wasn’t too popular in Formula 2 and got run out, so it remains to be seen if he learned a lesson. But one driver isn’t going to kill IndyCar’s momentum or ruin its reputation unless he does something heinous, and I doubt IndyCar would ever let that happen.
Q: As their links to Freedom Alliance show, Ferrucci and his dad are American ultra-nationalists, and their abuse of his teammate at Trident Racing was racially motivated due to him being Indian. Allowing a person like this into the series shows a real lack of moral courage.
RM: I know Jay Frye has said they will be monitoring his every move, so again, it’s kinda like a zero tolerance policy, and any kind of racial action won’t be tolerated. I’m not saying he’s deserving of any special treatment, but this kid hasn’t done anything over here to be banned, and I think Dale Coyne will be a good influence on this young man so let’s give it a chance. Most of our younger readers probably don’t know Rodger Ward was a bad apple of sorts early on but straightened his life out, became a two-time Indy winner, one of the best ever and a popular hero.
Q: Why aren’t Graham Rahal and Courtney Force the first couple in racing in America’s consciousness? I feel like NHRA and IndyCar are overlooking a potentially great asset in terms of series exposure. With the right advertiser and some clever copywriting, they could break through the personality boundary that always makes throwing money behind drivers, or athletes in general, difficult. We all like Hinch, and I was happy to see him on national commercials with Honda. (And the spots were slightly above the “As a race car driver I know fast. So when my internet speed was slow, I was pissed off and wanted it fast…” approach you commonly see. But if you don’t already know Hinch, I’m not sure they created a greater desire to seek out the IndyCar Series.
Courtney and Graham are attractive, young and successful drivers from prominent racing families. The advertising slant of a young racing couple facing any number of common domestic problems around any number of products could be fun. I don’t think that one driver is the answer to series exposure, but maybe a racing relationship could be. (And sure I’d more like to see an ad with Will and Liz Power relaxing at the end of the day with some Sleepy Time Tea, or Tony and Lauren Kanaan playing practical jokes on children at a Chuck E. Cheese, but that’s just for us right now.) Anyway, just a thought.
I live in Oregon and I am unfortunately traveling out of state for work over the Portland Grand Prix weekend. I have the Sonoma weekend open and I am looking for a reason to attend. I’ve gone to Sonoma in the past, but I’ve found the racing a bit uninspiring. The new aero kits have gotten me to the fence, if you have another tidbit to push me over, please share. (Like, Alonso running it? or I’d love to have my son meet Scott Dixon, but can’t afford two hotel nights, so if the autograph session was in the afternoon on Saturday?)
Matt Callahan, Ashland, OR
RM: Well I think they are, but trying to coordinate some kind of PR campaign from different sanctioning bodies wouldn’t be easy unless you had a common sponsor that was willing to spend some money for some national TV spots, or NHRA and IndyCar wanted to invest (highly unlikely), so it’s a good idea because you’re playing to two audiences that probably don’t care about each other but might start paying attention.
Q: Thanks for the feedback on Peter Revson and the great photo at Ontario. Is Revson the only driver to win in IndyCar, F1 and CanAm? I think he is. He did win one in USAC in ‘69, a couple F1 and a bunch in CanAm. Jackie Stewart won in two out of three and so did Mark Donahue. I know you’ll know the answer. Thanks and stay well (from another 68-year-old).
Jeff B, B’ville, NJ
RM: Oh, there was this legendary badass named Daniel Sexton Gurney who scored seven IndyCar wins, five NASCAR wins, four F1 triumphs, three Can-Am victories and a win at place called Le Mans, plus Daytona’s 24 hours.