Q: Are they going to try to have an open tire test at the Speedway before August? I know there will be hurdles with the virus, but to my knowledge they haven’t tested tires or any aero packages yet with the new aeroscreen. I know Dixon and Power were there in October, but not sure how much they learned that could be applied. Hope you are staying safe and well.
RM: No plans to test — they got what was needed last fall, according to IndyCar.
Q: I am not a particular fan of crow. Nor do I take any delight in eating it. But my apologies go out to young Mr. Veach. You set me square replying to a previous post of mine to Mailbag saying Veach’s sophomore slump is not a fair representation of his ability, but more of an issue with team performance and just plain bad luck. So to you Zach, I apologize for doubting you. I really never doubted your ability, per se. As for Hinch, I’m sure he’ll do just fine. Can’t wait to see him on the NBC squad this season.
I am encouraged by IndyCar trying to keep racing “affordable.” Implementing phased in improvements to the current chassis without a total replacement is a good plan in my view. I would like to point out, though, remember the fan appreciation when they removed the “Kardashians” aero package and restored the car to a resemblance of the CART and Champ Car years? Take note in your new car design. Those cars were gorgeous. Let’s not stray too far from what the fans loved. Last year at RA, they brought out Bobby’s MGD car as Graham ran the same livery. The crowd around that car was huge. It was a thing of beauty.
I also remember them doing a fan vote for the new car design. Are there any rumors of them going this direction again?
Ken in Naperville, IL
RM: Crow goes good with mustard, I know because I’ve had it a few times. Zach admitted he was pressing last year but got off to a great start and vowed that he was going to have more fun in 2020. I think Jay Frye has been about making IndyCar more affordable for the past four years and understands the challenges all of motorsports face in 2021, so it’s good common sense. No idea what the new car might look like.
Q: What races are Seabass running for Foyt in 2020? Will he be at Indy at all?
Dan, Lima, OH
RM: Looks like Portland and St. Pete will be Seb’s only races for Super Tex.
Q: I was under the impression that Sage Karam had the funding to run the entire IndyCar Series this year? Can you provide some insight into why the he was not at Texas or if he will run the series this year?
RM: No, Dennis Reinbold told RACER last winter he was adding St. Pete and Toronto to go with both races at Indianapolis for Sage, but not the full season.
Q: By the time you get to this for your Mailbag you’ll have probably written a couple articles on the subject. Penske said he is considering requiring Leaders Circle teams run a Indy Lights car to help revive the series. I figure you knew about this quite some time ago already. I would like to suggest to Roger that it not be a requirement for Leaders Circle teams, but rather a requirement teams have drawn from the Leaders Circle for three-plus seasons to field half a Lights season. For most teams that’ll end up being a full season. For some it’ll be one-and-a-half. Let’s not whammy Mike Shank his second full season with a big additional cost, or deter entries who want to give it a go and see if they can make it work.
Ryan in West Michigan
RM: I believe R.P. made those comments on Jack Arute’s podcast and that would be the one guarantee of replenishing the Lights’ field, but not sure if The Captain has anything set in stone yet. He just told me to stay tuned.
Q: Do you know why Draft Kings does not include IndyCar with their game play options? I am not a big NASCAR fan, but over the past few weeks I’ve played in some low wager contests and really enjoyed the experience, and become a much bigger fan of NASCAR in the process. The IndyCar fantasy game is good in theory, but their prize options are laughable. I understand it’s a free game, but without any real incentive to play I didn’t even submit an entry for the first race. Putting some money towards picking a particular set of drivers could certainly make watching the races more interesting. Having IndyCar on the Draft Kings platform seems like something that the series would be wise to work on.
Keith, Madison, WI
RM: I don’t know the answer to that, but Draft Kings did post odds on the Texas race, which is encouraging, and I believe Mark Miles intends to meet with them to discuss the Indy 500 and the myriad prop bets that could be available.