Robin Miller's Mailbag for August 7, presented by Honda Racing / HPD

Robin Miller's Mailbag for August 7, presented by Honda Racing / HPD

Insights & Analysis

Robin Miller's Mailbag for August 7, presented by Honda Racing / HPD

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Q: That was the best race at Mid-Ohio since Mark Donohue and George Follmer went at each other back in 1973! A lot of race fans are really upset that Felix wasn’t able to get past Scott, but in terms of lapped traffic there aren’t a lot of places at Mid Ohio to get out of the way. Question: do you think if the Keyhole was re-profiled to be super-wide, would it provide a place for lapped traffic to get out of the way and allow trailing cars to get a bigger run down the back straight? I’m thinking of something like Turn 10 at Montreal. Doesn’t seem like it would be cost-prohibitive to implement.

Jonathan and Cleide Morris, Ventura, CA

RM: I recall when Savoree and Green bought Mid-Ohio that there was a proposed layout to extend the Keyhole and widen, it but nothing ever happened. Considering all our favorite road courses were built 50-60-70 years ago, it’s amazing there’s any passing because they’re all so narrow, but the Dallara has proven its worth on these tight places.

Q: I am just reading the RACER article ‘Steiner considering team orders for Haas drivers’. Further, he refers to this as ‘drastic action’ after Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen again collided in the German Grand Prix. That is two races in a row. This not what I would do. Instead, I would fire their asses and hire any two of over a dozen drivers in IndyCar who demonstrated that they know how to race without hitting anyone. The expertise that the whole field demonstrated last Sunday at Mid-Ohio is even more unbelievable to me after I had two days to think about it.

At the beach yesterday, I was speaking to a gentleman who noticed that I was reading Road & Track. He asked if I had watched the race yesterday, and I responded which one? (There were three, F1 in Germany in the rain, IndyCar at Mid-Ohio and another tin top GWC at Pocono). He answered, the one on NBC from Ohio. Wasn’t that something else? I emphatically agreed! This was a great reaction from, at best, a temped race fan and portends a better future of the series.

This was a lot of words to say that I have seen many, many races at four different venues over a 57-year period. Last Sunday’s performance was the best that I have ever seen, not just in IndyCar, but any other racing series! Tomorrow, I plan to call DirecTV and find out how I can save this recording to a DVD for posterity.

Dick Hildebrand, Ormond Beach, FL

RM: I have to say that the driving in the past couple years has been hard and entertaining but pretty damn clean, and it’s a tribute to the guys pushing the throttle. So, to your point, it can be done. Like watching the first 20 laps of the Chili Bowl a few years ago and 24 cars ran nose-to-tail, or side-by-side or slid past each other in every corner and not one caution.

“Ha ha ha! No, but I’m serious. I’ve signed Sage Karam and Conor Daly.” Image by Hone/LAT.

Q: Fantastic race at Mid-Ohio, but it would have been even better if the lapped cars at the end weren’t allowed to interfere. I know it has been stated before that they don’t have to give way so they can try to get their lap back, but really with five laps to go, what would they gain? Instead of finishing in 15th place a lap down, they get to finish in 15th place on the lead lap? I guess if they got their lap back and then there was a full course caution they could fight for 14th place, but who cares? I’d rather see the leaders fight for the win without being impeded by lapped cars. With 10 laps or less to go IndyCar should make them move over for the leaders.

Dave, Vineland, NJ

RM: That’s where the good ‘ol NASCAR yellow would have waved and all those guys would have been removed from the equation. But as I’ve watched for 50 years, lapped cars are part of the show on ovals and road courses, and how the leaders deal with them is part of their craft. I know what you’re saying, but T.K. was the only guy who pulled out of the way because he was by himself and everyone else was in a fight.

Q: A moment to praise Mid-Ohio before my question. Took two under-12-year-old IndyCar fans to their first race this weekend. Under 12 got in free with an adult and free paddock access. They met a number of drivers, got a bunch of autographs and took a lot of pictures. We sat in Turn 4, Turn 1, the Carousel and the new seating in the Keyhole. Then with the finish, it couldn’t have been better. Perfect. They are now fans for life. How are things looking for Conor Daly in 2020? I think he has proven he belongs.

Brian Henris, Fort Mill, SC

RM: Glad to hear some future fans had a good weekend. Conor has shown he belongs more than ever this season, but it still boils down to money unless Carlin or McLaren would hire him.

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