Q: Hey Miller, I read John H’s comment in last week’s Mailbag. I camp at RA with my wife every year. The tickets cost us $100 per person, the campsite costs $40, and each of us is required to have a “camping wristband” which is $65/person. To me, this is hardly a price gouge. That comes in at $185 per person for three nights and three full days of on-track action, paddock access, and an already great atmosphere. Add in that we don’t buy a single concession at the track, besides a few ears of corn, and this trip is a steal! Name me another sporting event that you can go to that includes lodging, parking, and your admission for $60/day?
David L, Neenah, WI
RM: Thanks David, I chose these three letters out of about 20 all in the same vein that Road America was a bargain for what you get. I know what $60 gets me at a Colts’ game: four soft drinks, four hot dogs and a program.
Q: I always enjoy the Mailbag, and your commentary on NBC/NBCSN. I liked your response to a Cannonball question a while back, about Brock Yates (RIP) bringing it back and you might have made one final run. Anyway, two questions, if you don’t mind:
1) Sarah Fisher’s best chance to win as a driver? She led laps at Kentucky in 2000, finished second to Hornish at Homestead in ’01 – and if there had been a crash in the closing laps and a restart, could she have caught and passed him? And the ’02 MIS race, where she led laps, but finished 8th due to cooking the tires. (Tomas Scheckter won that race, even with Paul Page rooting for him). Or the KY race in ’02 where she was on pole?
2) Katherine Legge returning to IndyCar – even if Indy only? Michael Shank said at the 24 Hours of Daytona that he was being nagged – his words – on TV that Katherine was on him to line up an Indy ride. I know she’s committed to IMSA, but if a ride did materialize?
Matt Wiser, Auberry, CA
RM: Sarah chased Hornish to the checkered flag at Homestead, but I can’t remember those other races to be honest. I know if she had ever been with a top-line team she would have won an IRL race or two. Katherine was thrown into Champ Car with no experience but she’s gotten better and better this past decade and I’d love to see her back at Indy (she competed in 2012 and 2013).
Q: The big sweeping tracks like Watkins Glen and Road America would be obvious choices for additional IndyCar/IMSA cooperation, but what about a smaller venue – say, Portland? Stuffing all the transporters into the infield might be a challenge, so IMSA might limit what classes run there. To add to the show, put some IndyCar drivers in IMSA and one or two IMSA drivers (with recent open wheel experience – Telitz, Nasr, Derani) in an IndyCar. Both series have raced there and they are always exciting. What do you think?
Jonathan and Cleide Morris, Ventura, CA
RM: I think there should be an IMSA/IndyCar double-header at Portland and Laguna Seca. Obviously, IMSA wouldn’t be allowed to bring all its classes because of space constraints, and IndyCar might only let Lights race, but they would draw a lot better as a package. To think IMSA runs at Laguna the week before IndyCar is ludicrous.
Q: You must be beat to s*** after Iowa, thanks for the reporting. Indy pace car questions: 1 )Why does guy on the right stick a gloved right hand out the window? (Perhaps for old times sake?). 2) Why were the two flags affixed to the rear bumper back in the day eliminated?
Charlie Ogletree, Greenville NC
RM: That’s always been the way to signal drivers being waved around the pace car. Got no clue about the flags. I had an easy night compared to Kevin and Dillon. I worked the pre-race and post-race, but sat on the pit wall during the race while they chased stories and called pit stops. No complaints.
Q: Who decided that three commentators should talk incessantly during every NASCAR race to the point that you can’t even hear any racing? Having to mute the race eliminates the excessive chatter, but is a poor excuse for racing audio as well. It a race, not a talk show so c’mon guys, shut the hell up at least half the time!
While I’m grinding on the axe, Rutledge Wood of all people and no Robin Miller at Indy – really? Another absurdity, and a big one for sure. Keep up the good work Robin, always enjoy your perspective.
Bill Shaffer, North Port, FL
RM: I think when you have a lot of people on air it’s human nature to want to get in your two cents as often as possible, but it’s tough to call a race and not talk over each other sometimes. I’ve not heard any complaints about NBC’s crew on NASCAR and I’ve watched the last couple races in their entirety and hadn’t really noticed what you are saying, so I’ll start listening closer. As for race day at Indy, that was a tough one to swallow, I’ll admit, but we had 11 people on air and no more room. But thanks.
Q: Following up on your response to Spike M. in the July 10th Mailbag, you said you would be all for tape delaying race broadcasts so races could always start at 1 p.m., but that tape delaying doesn’t fly anymore. Can you or someone in NBCSN elaborate on why tape delaying a race broadcast no longer makes business sense? I recall even some of CART’s races were tape delayed during their heyday. I consider myself an avid fan, but am too busy with life to sit inside during the day watching a live race broadcast (the exception to that being the 500). I watch most Sunday races in the evenings long after they have finished, and fast-forward through the commercials – if that is not tape delay by proxy, then I do not know what is.
Having all Sunday races start by 1 p.m. local time may not pack the stands, but surely it must be a step in the right direction for attendance, as George Bruggenthies knew. And I would like to think the half-million avid IndyCar fans who follow the sport on traditional TV are not likely to care when the race broadcast airs if helps attendance, especially at ovals.
David, Greensboro, NC
RM: The anti-tape delay theory is that people will find out who won before the telecast and then not watch it.