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. We cannot guarantee we’ll publish all your questions and answers, but Robin will reply to you. And if you have a question about the technology side of racing, Robin will pass these on to Marshall Pruett and he will also answer here.
Q: I thought the Iowa race was awesome, as usual. Kudos to the track and the series for getting it done. That Ferrucci kid is fun to watch. But you would never know it from the complete imbeciles that comment on the articles on RACER.com. “The race was too late.” Really? Were they supposed to race in the rain? “It was a Penske parade.” Really? Pretty sure Ganassi and Arrow SPM would see it differently. Was it an Andretti parade at Road America when Rossi disappeared? “There was nobody there.” Considering the weather, it was amazing anyone was there. Only a couple comments were from people that were actually at the race. The rest are a bunch of keyboard jockeys in mommy’s basement who most likely have never even been to a race, ever.
Time to eliminate the comments under the articles. If you don’t like the series, then go watch something else. It’s the same idiots week after week with the same arguments. Marco sucks, Penske has an unfair advantage, the series is doomed, we have to eliminate ovals, we have to go to Europe, etc, etc. Unbelievable. Time to end the comments. If they want to bitch, then they can write to you and actually have to have a valid argument. All I saw today was a bunch of “non-fans” with an axe to grind.
Mike, Colorado Springs
RM: While Josef was pretty much in his own orbit, the race itself was entertaining and featured lots of hard close racing from second to 17th. I told the boys in the booth during a commercial break I couldn’t believe how many people stuck around after that storm and a four-hour delay. Iowa has some great fans. And IndyCar did the right thing to get the race run because Sunday’s forecast was for day-long rains. I get that The Mailbag is a catch-all for complaints and compliments, but fresh observations are always appreciated.
Q: Like many of your readers, I was inspired by your article about attendance, and decided to bring my boys down from the Twin Cities to see the race at Iowa Speedway. (It’d been a few years since we’ve gone). I guess things could have gone just a little better on the weather front (it was 90 degrees when we arrived at 5 o’clock, and we really couldn’t have imagined that we’d still be there at 1 a.m., freezing our butts off in the grandstands and wishing we’d brought blankets), and that long delay certainly tested our patience. But, holy crap, when they finally fired up the cars and got rolling… the roar of the engines echoing through the night, the speed of the cars as they ramped up for the green flag… we had zero regrets, and had a great time.
Even when the race isn’t that eventful, IndyCar still just puts on one hell of a show, and Iowa Speedway is a fantastic venue. While I love watching racing on TV, there really is no substitute for being there in person – the total IndyCar experience – and my boys will remember Saturday night for a very long time. Hope to see you there next year.
I guess I’m supposed to ask a question in this column, so here’s one: How is that no one has written a biography of Roger Penske? (At least, I can’t find one)? A household name in the sporting world and a titan of industry, I would love to know more about what makes The Captain tick. I think I heard somewhere that RP has no interest in making an autobiography, but it’s a bit of surprise that someone hasn’t taken a shot at writing about him. You’d think there would be interest just from a business perspective, wanting to know the “secret” to his success. Thanks for all you do for this great sport.
Jeff Zuehlke, St. Paul, MN
RM: Thanks for educating the youngsters on IndyCar and hanging tough on a challenging night Jeff. The race was damn good once it finally got going. As for The Captain, it would be a fascinating book and I need to ask why one has never been written, but R.P. is a pretty private person so it doesn’t surprise me. Plus, when could he spend any time sitting down to recount his life? He only sleeps four hours a night because he’s always on the move.
Q: I tried to send an email Saturday morning before I left for the track about an evening race rather than the night race. Then Mother Nature served up a huge serving of crow. I went from upset about the excess heat to wondering who on Earth would have thought about bringing a sweatshirt? Anyhow, I’ll be back if the race starts at 8 p.m. or gets the Pocono date.
This is for the Mailbag readers: Tickets 12 rows from the bottom (plenty high enough) for me and my six-year old were $30. Hotel in Iowa City, $90 (could have gone cheaper). Food and fuel, $100. That’s one heck of a show for $220 when I got home at 2 p.m. Sunday. I only caught 40 laps, though. A midnight start was a bit much for a six-year-old. Still worth it. So I’m looking at you people in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, St. Louis, Lincoln, Omaha and anything else in a 450-mile radius. It was an 899-mile round trip for me.
RM: Thanks for hanging in there with your son and making the trek. I don’t think Iowa was too pleased with its date being moved back or the starting time, and as I wrote on Monday, it should demand an 8 o’clock green flag next year. And a $30 grandstand ticket is more than reasonable and offers a good view at Iowa.