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: Your story on James Hinchcliffe didn’t mention the team, just the sponsor! What’s up, ol’ wise one?
RM: That’s because he doesn’t have one nailed down yet, but I’m leaning towards RLL or Ganassi.
Q: While all eyes are on James Hinchcliffe and where he will land, I noticed that it was rumored that Dalton Kellett may be entering IndyCar in 2020. I think the No. 4 Foyt car was one option open to him. I was just wondering what you know and which races are likely? I imagine Toronto would have to be part of any deal. While Hinch’s sponsorship deal is for IMS road course and the 500 thus far, what’s your take on whether he will be driving in front of his hometown crowd in Toronto?
Geoff Roberts, Unionville, Ontario, Canada
RM: Looking like T.K. for all the ovals with the No. 14 after Seabass runs that car the first four races, and then maybe Kellett on the road/street circuits the rest of the year. And Charlie Kimball in the No. 4 car. Hinch will run Toronto and hopefully a few other races, just not sure which team.
Q: I’ve got two quick questions. How serious is Penske about putting Supercars ace Scott McLaughlin in an IndyCar either this year or down the road? After watching him the past few years in Supercars and hearing the feedback from his Sebring test, it’s pretty obvious he’s seriously talented. And my second question is, does NBC have any plans to include IndyCar on its new streaming service? I saw that it is going to include Olympic coverage as well as some Premier League games ,and am curious to know if IndyCar is going to have a place on that platform.
Jordan from Greenwood
RM: It sounds like Tim Cindric is giving serious consideration to trying to test Scott McLaughlin at COTA next month and possibly providing him with a fourth car at selected races. He impressed Rick Mears and the team with his initial run at Sebring last week. IndyCar will still have the NBC Gold package in 2020, so it’s separate from what you are talking about.
Q: Do you have any info on the Canadian TV or streaming coverage for IndyCar/Indy Lights for 2020? Last year I had to buy and setup a VPN and buy Gold to get almost-full coverage. I’m OK with the price and all for the Gold, but needing a VPN sucks exhaust.
Paul, Brantford, Ontario
RM: Nothing has changed from last year to my knowledge, but I do think R.P. is looking at the situation to see if there are other options down the road.
Q: Your piece on the HOF omissions really struck home here. As a boy I watched Jim Hurtubise at Trenton and listened to his exploits from my late dad, who was a big fan. I read Bob Gates’ book on Herk and the part about his wife sending thank you cards to those that wrote him after his horrific burns at Milwaukee. She bought a hundred, never thinking that she’d use them all. They were gone in a hurry. I was a recipient of one of those cards, and while it’s been long misplaced, I still remember it with the awe of the 10-year old that I was. He belongs in. Newman and Haas belong in, too, as does Finley. I don’t know much about the man, but your stories of his involvement, even as one of Donald Davidson’s “lesser lights” in Speedway history is the type of thing I love to read about.
While we’re soapboxing, if they aren’t in the HoF, the omission of Drs. Steve Olvey and Terry Trammel is an absolute disgrace. These two men are almost single handedly responsible for many drivers that are still here to talk about their exploits. As a 50-member in emergency services, I understand and deeply respect their work to bring better safety to the sport I love. And, maybe it’s also time to consider some Ball State dropout with 50 years of opinionated musings on racing…his name escapes me at the moment… it’ll come to me.
Jim Mulcare, Westbury, NY
RM: Herk did more for the Indy 500 in the ’60s than anyone, and is more deserving than a third of the people already in the HOF. Newman and Haas competed at the highest level for 25 years and were loyal to CART but nobody gave IMS a better run. And Finley is what made Gasoline Alley so mercurial. I imagine Olvey and Trammell will be nominated some day after they retire, because they certainly changed the face of safety in racing. And that’s kind of you but if Herk, PLN and Finley can’t get nominated, I don’t deserve a sniff.
Q: So, what’d you get Super Tex for his birthday?
Andy Rolfe, Brighton, MI
RM: A phone call to wish him well, a setup sheet from Andretti engineer Nathan O’Rourke and a year’s supply of Blue Bell ice cream.
Q: My wife and I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing the Pocono IndyCar race from the 300 level of the Donohue tower for years. Well, looks like we will be in Richmond for the first time. What’s the best place to view the race and enjoy the weekend?
Keith & Lorrie Blaisdell
RM: Commonwealth Mezzanine, or anything up high on front stretch is perfect. Have fun.