Welcome to the Robin Miller Mailbag 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 be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Robin is currently taking a short break while he undergoes medical treatment, however Marshall Pruett will be available to answer your questions until Robin’s return.
Q: Robin – I just finished my ritual of checking for The Mailbag, and read your update and comments about how people want to stay connected. We have met several times and I have always wanted to share with you my connection story.
First of all, I grew up in Indy, and started going to the track when I was in my teens. I had friends who raced at the Speedrome and the 5/8 oval at IRP. I started working at the track as a paramedic in 1982, started on the IMS Safety Team in 1991, and started traveling when the split occurred with the IRL Safety Team. Lom Bromley and Davey Hollander were good friends, and we always stayed in contact including working together at the first F1 race at Austin. It was the first time we had a joint venture between the two teams. In January of this year I was named the Manager of the AMR IndyCar Safety Team.
In the 70’s we were both employed by the Indianapolis Star and Indianapolis News. I was a paper carrier with a large route on the southeast side of Indy. If you remember the routine back then, the carriers would get the Sunday inserts on Saturday, and then after midnight we would get the front sections with a second delivery, including the sports section. We would then spend hours stuffing the inserts prior to starting our delivery routes. In the early hours of each Sunday morning, prior to stuffing the inserts, I would grab one of the freshly printed sports sections and look for the image of the racing helmet and your column. It was the only source of racing news an inner-city boy had at the time. I looked forward to those early Sunday morning nuggets of racing.
A few weeks ago I was checking into RACER.com and didn’t find the Mailbag. The message about your illness and the expected break caught me off guard. It was good getting the update today, and to hear that your treatments will be few. I have always enjoyed your columns, even when you have been critical of our team. It is good to hear the good and the bad, and we do respect your opinion.
Please focus on kicking your cancer’s ass. If need anything please do not hesitate in asking. You have been, and are, a part of this big racing family.
Take care, and God bless.
MP: Figured we should open this week’s Mailbag with a couple of heartfelt emails that were received. I mentioned this on social media last week, and it bears repeating: love it or hate it (funny how some who claim to hate it also read it with alarming frequency), Robin and his Mailbag are absolute institutions in IndyCar. I often think of all the series, CEOs, teams, manufacturers, and drivers who’ve come and gone while our man Miller has been on the scene, and the same is true for the weekly platform he’s given to open-wheel fans. In fighting cancer for more than a year, he – and we – have come to appreciate how much of a connection exists in both directions.
Q: Get well soon, Robin! Your Mailbag has been a big part of my weekly routine for many years, and your appearances with Dave Despain on Wind Tunnel were the highlight of the show (next to the Nicky Hayden and Travis Pastrana appearances … because those guys were/are much cooler than you!). I really do believe that this forum has kept the IndyCar community tied together through some bumpy times in the sport, and I’m glad to see we’re in better times again. You’re always great with my sons at Mid-Ohio as well. Wishing you a speedy recovery, you old curmudgeon!
MP: That seems ripe for a t-shirt, Eric. “Miller! You old curmudgeon!” Would be a best-seller, I reckon. All proceeds would go towards securing lifetime supplies of his two dietary staples: Pepsi and candy.