Robin Miller's Mailbag for March 25, presented by Honda Racing / HPD

Robin Miller's Mailbag for March 25, presented by Honda Racing / HPD

Insights & Analysis

Robin Miller's Mailbag for March 25, presented by Honda Racing / HPD

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Q: When racing does resume, it just might be the right time for the IndyCar/NASCAR doubleheader. I don’t know when or where, but when racing does come back it should be in spectacular fashion. Who knows, maybe now is the time to take back what’s been lost. Especially for IndyCar.

Ray Little

RM: Yes there might not be a better time, especially with postponements and everyone trying to squeeze in races. Again, with the Summer Olympics being canceled, those four weeks in July and August might not only be a good window for Indy, but also a doubleheader for NBC.

Q: I’m a huge fan that lives in the Northeast. I loved when IndyCar raced at Loudon, but that ended. Then a few shots at The Glen, and that ended. Now Pocono looks dead. Toronto is the only race I can get to, but who knows how long that will last? I did attend the 2002 Champ Car race in Montreal ,and what a great weekend it was! Place was packed every day! Any chance you think they will return there, because I know the place will fill up! Or any of the other tracks I mentioned?

Rick S.

RM: I know Jay Frye has talked to Montreal about the possibility of going back in 2021 or 2022, but IndyCar would need Bourdais (French-Canadian) to help ensure that good crowd returns. Haven’t heard a word about any of those other tracks.

Q: Wow! IndyCar testing postponed until May 10! That leaves just two weeks until my beloved 500! Also, with Roger P., now the owner of all things IndyCar and him being 83, what is the line of succession when he is unable to manage it?

George Owen

RM: You figure that Indy could be run in four days – two days of practice, qualifying and race – so R.P. could go as late as May 20. As for his age and health, he looks great and nobody works harder or longer days. He may outlive us all, but son Greg would likely take over the business and Tim Cindric would remain in charge of racing.

Q: Am I just too cynical, or might some of the owners actually be pleased about the cancellations of some races in the 2020 season? I’m thinking that the purses paid for running the races don’t even cover the cost (or in some cases, even the tire bill) so no big loss there. And if the full-time teams still get their Leaders Circle payouts but have to work less hard for the money, what’s the downside?

Chad R. Larson, Phoenix

RM: Well let’s see – a sponsor gives money based on the number of races, so if the season is cut in half, does that mean a $4 million sponsor becomes $2 million? We’ve heard that one team is already asking mechanics to take a 20 percent pay cut, and depending on how long this pandemic lasts, they likely won’t be the first or last team to have cutbacks. No, I would say everything about this mess is bad for IndyCar teams.

Since race teams’ businesses are generally built around going racing, the current situation isn’t helping anyone. Image by Levitt/LAT

Q: Since IndyCar is running the sim season, is there any way you can talk Mario into running the race? We need this, and even Michael in the race. Pass this alone to the man himself that we need this!

Rick from PA

RM: I will ask him if he’s interested, and I imagine he’d be game.

Q: iRacing…*spits on ground for effect* …  will be the death of real motorsports. That’s all I have to say. Mic-drop.

Trevor Bohay, Kamloops, BC, Canada

RM: Not the death, just a stop-gap to try and entertain fans until the real thing gets restarted.

Q: Love the idea of this iRacing race series. However, a little disappointed it won’t be on NBC. They have to be starved for programming. IndyCar could really use the exposure, too. NASCAR’s iRacing will be on Fox Sports 1. Do you know if NBC was ever approached?

Vincent Martinez, South Pasadena, CA

RM: Not to my knowledge, but the network isn’t going to air a computer race, and the IndyCar website is the perfect place for it. Here’s the release:

INDYCAR and iRacing, the world’s premier motorsports racing simulation, are partnering to currently stage six virtual race events featuring a stellar lineup of current NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers and possibly some special guests beginning Saturday, March 28.Each race will be streamed live on indycar.com for the enjoyment of racing fans while the current 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season is suspended through April as a result of the coronavirus situation. While indycar.com will serve as the primary live streaming source, there also will be secondary platforms to watch the virtual race events each week – INDYCAR’s YouTube and Facebook Live as well as iRacing’s Twitch. Each virtual race event, which will last approximately 90 minutes to two hours, will begin at 4 p.m. ET each Saturday through May 2.

Q: Sitting home and washing my hands, also using brake-clean spray – gets to those hard-to-reach spots  – thinking about NASCAR and IndyCar with their iRacing. To add some realism, how about a guy stationed at each iRacing set up with a big 2×4 so if a driver crashes, this person would hit them in the head with the 2×4 – that way they have some skin in the game! Just kidding! Saw the NASCAR iRace (Homestead) – was pretty cool – looking forward to IndyCar iRacing. My son is an iRacer (also karter, Kenyon Midget, Lucas Oil School of Racing) – was iRacing with some of the Road to Indy guys last night.

Tom in Northern Michigan

RM: I love your idea except instead of being hit with a 2×4. How about just an electric shock? That’s always been my gripe about fake racing – what are the consequences if you mess up? Racing is all about risk vs. reward but I’m glad your son is racing, for real and on the internet.

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