Q: Just finished watching the French F1 parade and IndyCar at Road America. You cannot compare the racetracks or the action and in IndyCar there are 10-12 possible winners and F1 maybe three. IndyCar is the winner on both fronts. Even with Rossi’s total domination there was plenty of action up and down the field. Better first tire choice by Herta, and we may have had a little race for first. Both series have trouble passing, but a couple of simple tweaks and IndyCar would leap ahead. Would like to see 100 hp, less efficient brakes and less downforce. I am not the biggest short oval fan in the crowd, but current mix of tracks is good and maybe an early season expansion to Mexico or Australia would give additional opportunities for sponsors. Do you think a trip to Europe and use Imola and or Brands Hatch as possible sites could happen? Expand the audience and exposure.
Richard Glass, Camarillo, CA
RM: As I’ve said, Pagenaud and Dixon passes a slew of cars on their way to the front and the combination of tires going off made it pretty racy. People keep suggesting IndyCar go to old F1 venues, but as of now I don’t know of any that want to have an IndyCar race.
Q: It seems that many internet experts are declaring Road America a “bad race” and “boring” because of the margin of victory. I feel sorry for these people, because they must’ve missed a great race! There was some great battling for positions two through 10, and any true racing fan had to appreciate the sheer dominance of Rossi’s performance. Not every race has to be decided by less than a second to be considered good.
Tom, Newark, NY
P.S. Cheers to IndyCar for not throwing a debris caution for something
that was clearly off-line.
RM: I always wonder how many of our internet experts actually attend a race, but all I can say is that the Mailbag is 90 percent in agreement with you about last Sunday’s race. Lots of good, hard racing and passing – just not for first place.
Q: Was Colton Herta required to run new red tires before the end of the race even though he started the race on used reds?
Russell Mill, Austin, TX
RM: Yep, every driver must run a new set of reds during the race, and I’m quite sure Colton wishes they’d have started on blacks or at least new reds.
Q: You’ve long expressed desire for a promotable rivalry. Hang on, brother. Somebody is going to clean little Herta’s clock. The kid (and not the first time) drove like a pinball at RA. Asinine moves and challenges that wouldn’t go nowhere all day. What did Pagenaud have to say?
RM: I never heard any complaints. Herta is aggressive but what’s not to like about good, hard racing? He and Rossi going side-by-side through Turn 1 on the opening lap was a nice show of trust and skill.
Q: I’d have to say that it says a lot about Colton Herta that Rossi was willing to go outside in Turn 1 and trust Colton for a clean pass. Impressed with Herta every week, even in this defeat. And man, does Dixon get better every week, still, or what?
RM: I agree 1000 percent about Herta, and that was a great way to start the race with those two wheel-to-wheel at 150 mph.
Q: Good running into you at the ice cream shop in Elkhart Lake on Friday. I’ve decided that while Indy is the best event on the calendar, Road America is the best venue: a kickass track with an awesome camping scene, right next door to a unique little village with great restaurants and bars. Is there any other track in North America that offers anything like it? If so, do tell – I want to go.
Justin in Indy
RM: Not to my knowledge, because RA also comes with some of the best and most knowledgeable fans anywhere, plus everyone is always friendly.
Q: Attended Saturday and Sunday and had a great time except when attempting to leave on Sunday. Took forever! What’s with that? Not like they ever had an event before. Organized to the extreme to get in the place, but nobody around after. And Rossi first and Marco last. Just like at Indy, Marco was just bad. Is he done? They did have holes dug at Turn 5. Are they to bury the remnants of Marco’s career?
Bob, Milton, WI
RM: Marco qualified 10th but had some mechanical issues right from the start, so it was another one of those forgettable days. I don’t think he’s done, but it certainly can’t be much fun. Sorry about the traffic, yours the first complaint I’ve heard about it.