Q: I’m just satisfied, and a little amazed, that 24 cars (almost) started at Texas. Carlin being the only team that parked a car. Can we expect that consistency for the rest of the season? Will DragonSpeed show for any races?
RM: So far, so good but I’m more concerned about 2021 than I am this season. As for DragonSpeed, owner Elton Julian recently tweeted he was looking forward to the Indy 500 in August, but beyond that it likely depends on his IMSA, WEC and Le Mans commitments.
Q: Will Power claimed some cars went over the 35-lap limit with no penalty. True or false?
RM: According to IndyCar, four or five teams went one lap extra because there were some issues with timing and scoring and teams rely on that data. But there were still 163 laps to go, and it didn’t change the outcome of the race or give anyone an unfair advantage.
Q: IndyCar being back at Texas was great therapy, and I was happy to see the series back and running. I enjoyed the Texas race and the fact that it was difficult to pass and seeing driver skill in making passes, but soon as it was over I knew the Debbie Downers would be out in full force, and of course they were calling Texas boring, being angry with the lapped cars not being moved to the back, not getting a photo finish, or mad about how Dixon just ran away with it.
I am a racing fan and a sports fan, and racing fans called Texas boring while in other sports we just call that a beatdown, blowout, curb stomping, domination or a good, ol’ fashioned ass whipping handed to the field by Dixon, kind of like Tiger Woods did at Majors in his prime. In other sports, the fans would be talking about Dixon’s accomplishment of tying A.J.’s record for most seasons with a win, which I saw Mike Tirico do when he talked with Leigh Diffey. If we took the fans who were unhappy with Texas back to the 1967 500, would they complain? I wonder if they would be mad about Rufus dominating the race, saying it was boring with no passes for the lead, the turbine had an unfair advantage and it should be banned, etc., etc. BTW, how is Rufus?
RM: Today’s IndyCar fans bitch about everything, so who knows what they enjoy? But somewhere along the line things changed, because I never remember anyone complaining about Parnelli dominating in 1967, or Mears winning by two laps in 1984, Mario lapping the field in 1987, or Team Penske destroying everyone in 1994. Dixie’s superb performance was lost among the moaning about single groove, mandatory pit stops for tires and the ugly aero screen. Rufus sounds pretty damn good for 86.
Q: The Texas race left me feeling a little bit reflective since we’ve now started TK’s farewell season. I started watching IndyCar racing in 2008 just as the civil war was coming to end, and with TK wrapping up his open-wheel career along with Helio and Seb, that leaves one man left standing from IndyCar of the 2000s… Scott Dixon. As he showed us in Texas, he’s as good as he ever was, with no signs of slowing down.
I’m not trying to send him to sports cars or to the rocking chair before his time, but we can’t ignore that he’s going to turn 40 this season. For a guy that’s his generation greatest racer and has no holes on his resume, what’s next? Is it matching Foyt’s title count? (I don’t think he can catch him for wins.) Is it winning Indy again? Is it to keep going until he can’t, or does he knows exactly how he wants to see his career play out from here?
M from Michigan
RM: Hard to say what the future holds for Dixie, but he’s got three kids and he might just pack them up with his lovely wife and move overseas somewhere in a couple years. Obviously he’s still on top of an IndyCar, but I don’t know if he wants to hang around and do sports cars after he’s done with open-wheel. Scott is a private person and a humble superstar who loves going unnoticed except at the racetrack, and he’s had an amazing career.
Q: Personally, I find the aero screen butt-ugly. I realize safety is paramount so no problem with that. I’m wondering if they could use the halo (which I think doesn’t look too bad and is certainly more attractive than the screen) for road and street courses?
Q: Never heard it mentioned in the race broadcast or written news afterwards. Did any teams use the tear-offs? If so, what was the average across the field? Never saw the TOGs in action!
RM: They were used by some teams, and other drivers told IndyCar afterwards they didn’t really need them.
Q: After reading your Mailbag from last week I just wanted to be one of the guys to throw my support behind the aeroscreen. In no way did it affect my experience. If it helps the chance of saving lives like it could have with Wheldon or Wilson, then I am all for it. OK, so it’s not the best from the front, but the side looks like a jet fighter and I am guessing that once it is implemented into the next chassis design it will look better. My question comes from TK’s comments. Do the IndyCar drivers wear coolsuits like some of their tin-top counterparts? If not, then maybe they should be looking into it for Indy. It could turn out to be an advantage.
John, Newcastle, Australia
RM: The concern seemed to be more about air circulating, and that’s something IndyCar will be looking at as the season progresses. There is a hose to help, but some kind of a vent might be in order.