Robin Miller's Mailbag for October 9, presented by Honda Racing / HPD

Robin Miller's Mailbag for October 9, presented by Honda Racing / HPD

Insights & Analysis

Robin Miller's Mailbag for October 9, presented by Honda Racing / HPD

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Q: What is it going to take to get Tyler Courtney on the Indy 500 entry list? This guy absolutely dominated the 4-Crown in both midgets and sprints, and is just a straight wheelman. Every USAC event I’ve been to this year, he has been up front all night, and if he wasn’t, then he was working his way there very quickly. Fingers crossed for Conor to get the nod at SPAM. Thanks for what you do for the sport!

Ben, Noblesville

RM: I think the goal of Clauson/Marshall Racing is to elevate Sunshine to their Indy 500 entry, but they need sponsors. He’s a good kid and a damn good racer, so that would be a cool story. Conor isn’t going to SPAM, he was informed last week.

Q: In response to the recent comments about the balance of race sound vs voice sound, I also had the issue of the racing drowning out the announcers. While, as you pointed out, there is nothing like the sounds of racing, I do want to hear the commentary, too. (I suppose there are those that would love to be able to silence you, LD, TB, and PT, too.) I found I could solve the problem by tinkering with the settings in my TV’s Audio Setup settings. With all the different makes, models, and ages of TVs and the variety of connected sound systems, there is no magic setup. I recommend that our fans try different combinations of Surround, AI, TV speaker/sound system mix, etc. Thank you, again, for all that you do to keep us fans informed. Stay healthy!

Russ from Plainfield, N.J.

RM: That’s why I ran our NBC tech expert’s explanation last week, it just sounds like people’s TVs need to be tuned to balance the engine noise and commentary. But thanks for your suggestion.

Q: Why has Carlos Munoz’s name not been thrown around as a silly season candidate? He was one of, if not the, best at Indy the past few years, and I would find it hard to believe that he’s not on anybody’s radar for at least the Month of May, if not full-season.

Ian from SC

RM: Good question. He’s awesome at Indianapolis and seemed to have a good connection with Andretti as long as his father could afford it. His year with Foyt didn’t help, and I think owners don’t even consider him right now. But if the family money is gone, so might be his career.

Munoz had a natural gift for keeping people in his mirrors at the Brickyard. Image by IndyCar

Q: Alright Miller, you and Marshall did a RACER video on Silly Season but I’ve got some questions about drivers that you guys either didn’t mention or I forgot you mentioned because the wild, stress-filled environment of college during exam season erased them from my mind.

First, what’s on the docket for Marcus Ericsson? I thought he had a solid rookie year with some bad luck, but that he had done enough to justify SPM keeping him around for another year to see how he develops. Of course, the poor guy seems to have been hosed with the arrival of McLaren, as he doesn’t fit their veteran driver or superstar rookie requirements (he’s a better driver than most give him credit for, but he’s not Colton Herta).

Speaking of SPAM, I know you talked a lot about them not taking Hinch or Herta for next year, and wanting Pagenaud once his Penske deal is up, but what’s their plan for the short run? Kinda beating the dead horse here, but it would be awesome if they could hire Conor Daly. He’s quick, he’s great at setting up a car, and he’s got the kinda experience I think they could use as they navigate the first year of this new partnership. Of course, my pleas, along with those of the entire IndyCar nation, will likely go unnoticed as Conor has the luck of a black cat that shattered a mirror while walking under a ladder. So what’s their plan?

What’s gonna happen at Foyt? I know they’re doing a major overhaul as you reported a few weeks ago, but I really don’t see their position improving in any meaningful way. That’s sad, since I’d love to see A.J. winning again, but it seems very unlikely. So who do they want to hire for driving? I know T.K. wants a farewell tour, but driving around two laps down seems almost insulting to the career he’s had. Matheus Leist has yet to do anything particularly noteworthy, though maybe that’s more down to the car than the driver. So what is Foyt planning?

Finally, what about our star drivers from Indy Lights? Askew and Veekay both clearly proved they’ve got the right stuff, as your fantastic article on Indy Lights proved. So what’s their long-term plan? Veekay has been linked with ECR a lot (maybe the road courses in the 20?) while I’ve heard you talk about Askew doing a few races in a third Ganassi car. Last week you said that you think Veekay is on the Captain’s radar for 2021, which I think makes sense depending No.9 when Dixie hangs up his helmet? Maybe smart to position yourself in a good team like that, but Scott doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon so it could be a long wait. Any plans for a video series in the winter (like your old Tough Guys series)?

Max Camposano, Bethlehem, PA

RM: Marcus was confirmed for a third Ganassi car on Tuesday. Conor has one more decent option but it won’t be SPAM. Not sure about Foyt, but that may be T.K.’s only full-time option. I’m hoping Askew gets to run an extra car four or five times for Chip, and Rinus looked to be headed for ECR but Carlin could also be in the picture. Going to fire up the Tough Guys series again this winter, thanks for asking.

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