Robin Miller's Mailbag for September 19, presented by Honda Racing / HPD

Robin Miller's Mailbag for September 19, presented by Honda Racing / HPD

Insights & Analysis

Robin Miller's Mailbag for September 19, presented by Honda Racing / HPD


Got there in the end: Ticking off the final laps at Vegas took some doing. Image by Kinrade/LAT

Q: Was very disappointed that the NASCAR race ran so long that it cut in to the season-ending IndyCar final race broadcast and eliminated all of the pre-race hype and setup. And the start of the race, too, was cut. Kind of a slap in the face to IndyCar. Let’s be honest. NASCAR is a contrived joke. It’s not racing. No wonder the stands are emptying. Stage racing, competition yellows, red flags in the last 10 laps, GWC, lucky dog, the Chase… on and on.

These drivers can’t even drive in a straight line at the end of races.  Understand the decision that while the viewership numbers are where they are right now, (although dwindling rather fast for the tin-tops), NASCAR will always get preferential treatment by NBCSN and bump IndyCar. Any plans for NBCSN to handle this any differently moving forward under the new contract, or will we just have to live with it? No matter how much they cross-market and hype the races and broadcasts, NASCAR is just so painful to watch. Here’s a thought for NASCAR: maybe they should try rolling the cars off of the trailers and race, straight up, for a change, and produce an honest race winner.

Jim, Indy

RM: As I wrote to an earlier reader, NBCSN can’t control NASCAR’s crashes so it was just unfortunate because the plan was a nice doubleheader that ended in Vegas and went right to the green flag in Sonoma. Sure NBC paid a fortune to get NASCAR, but just wait and see how good things will be for IndyCar next year on the Peacock.

Q: I have watched and read your work for years. I wanted to write several times but lacked the courage. I have been frustrated at various times with IndyCar decision-makers, but today I cannot fault those in charge. Today I missed the start of the IndyCar final race. I am so disappointed. I was stuck watching fake racing NASCRAP. They cut to the IndyCar race on Lap 2. I feel so frustrated. I went on the app before 6:30 PM ET when I saw NASCRAP was running long, and the live stream on NBC sports app wasn’t showing me anything. I tried TV and cell phone apps. This is a horrible way to treat IndyCar fans.

You keep telling us how NBC is going to be different and actually give long suffering IndyCar fans something better. They proved this is not the case today. No pre-race for season finale, and no race start. I guess I can watch the start of race when IndyCar posts race on YouTube days from now. Thanks NBC. I really wonder why I torture myself with IndyCar. I try to promote IndyCar to my kids and family and friends, but why? The people running the series have crapped on us so much over the years. The TV partners have crapped on us over the years.

This is more difficult than it should be to be a fan. I’ve been to several races over the years and taken my kids to races. I went to Watkins Glen the previous two years and there was no promotion. I live in Syracuse, NY area and never saw or heard any advertising. When I told people about the race and that I was going they had no idea. I promoted the race more than the series or track did. love the series so much and have for so long (since I was a young kid). My 12-year-old son Alexander is a huge Alexander Rossi fan and was invested in the title chase until the frustration of trying to watch race – he left and went back to gaming on Xbox. I got to tell him Rossi suffered damage 20 minutes after race coverage start time. Not sure how Rossi suffered damage since NBCSN cut over after incident.

We deserve better than this treatment. I support the series and have been IndyCar Nation member for years. I purchase IndyCar driver and IMS gear for myself and family. I was going to purchase the NBC Gold when available so I could watch everything IndyCar on one platform, but our series finale is treated like this? This is the sobering reality. NBC is no better. NBC doesn’t care about IndyCar. I am not a valued NBC customer.

John Holland

RM: No doubt a lot of fans were pissed with what transpired last Sunday, but it had nothing to do with playing favorites. NBCSN was going to show the conclusion of the first Chase race if it lasted until midnight, and unfortunately IndyCar got burned because of all the crashes and the red flag. But let me say that NBCSN ran non-stop promotions of Sonoma all during the NASCAR race (including as live cut in a couple times showing different drivers) and NBC will do more for IndyCar next year than anyone can imagine. NBC does care about IndyCar and this will become quite obvious next May. I’m sorry for your disappointment, but going to CNBC was the only alternative until the NASCAR race ended. Second guessing, maybe the IndyCar race should have been moved back to a 7 p.m. EST start, but you would hope three-and-a-half hours would have been enough. Don’t give up on NBC Gold, and get me your address so I can send your son a Rossi hat.

Q: Well, I tuned in to watch the final IndyCar race and what do I see? The usual NASCAR wreck-fest with what they now call overtime. I’ll give NBC credit for handling it fairly well. That racing is so contrived that the potential winner with 10 laps to go never wins. They certainly make IndyCar look professional and true to the sport. If you can’t run three laps without wrecking, you need to find another sport. Please, IndyCar, never copy anything they do, I am sure many of those driver are as frustrated as most of us.

Harold, Dayton, OH

RM: I don’t think there’s ever going to be that kind of manipulation in IndyCar, or most of us would walk away.