Q: I have two short questions for you. Is Scott Dixon so good that he could go to a lower-level team and win some races? Can you ask a few drivers what they do with the red Firestone hats they get on the podium?
Eric, London, OH
RM: Could Dixie take Mike Cannon or Chris Simmons and go to A.J. Foyt and win a race? I think so, as long as he got in some testing and the pit stops are up to snuff. I think Sebastien Bourdais and Mike Colliver were going to elevate Tex’s team based on their COTA test, but sadly their time together was nearly eliminated by the pandemic. Colliver and T.K. will be together at Indy so that’s encouraging. The drivers usually throw their Firestone hats to the fans surrounding victory lane.
Q: It seemed like IndyCar was slow to throw the yellow on Lap 1 of Race 2. Graham Rahal could have avoided that wreck if the yellow came out earlier. Any idea what caused that delay? Maybe deliberation about a local yellow with such a long track at Road America?
Mike B., IL
RM: I think Race Control wants to stay green if entirely possible on a road course, and maybe there was a two second delay in going yellow to see if Hunter-Reay could continue, but not sure that would have saved Rahal. At that point everyone up front was racing hard and trying to move up, so not sure anyone was looking for or expecting a full-course caution unless they saw the RHR/Power tangle.
Q: I consider myself a rational adult and usually don’t get too animated watching the races. But I was turning the air blue after the embarrassing display by a completely out of control Will Power. Enough with this clown. How many thousands of dollars in wrecked equipment and dashed hopes does he have to cause before there is sufficient punishment given out? The “penalty” was a joke, and if that’s all the rules allow, then the rules need to be rewritten. Does Race Control not have the authority to sit a driver out for an event, or several? If they do, they’d better exercise that option before Power seriously injures himself or others. Graham Rahal was extremely lucky to not have been severely injured as a direct result of Power’s recklessness, and Ryan Hunter-Reay’s day was ruined as well. This weekend was a clear demonstration of why Scott Dixon is a great driver, and why Power will never attain that level of accomplishment.
Steve C., Ithaca, NY
RM: I’ve seen a lot of bonehead moves in my 51 years of covering racing, but I wouldn’t put Power’s in the top 200. He evidently thought he had a shot at clearing RHR, and hit him in the left rear and ruined his race. It was a mistake, even though Will said he didn’t think he should be penalized. And it wasn’t malicious or intentional, but he did K.O. one of the guys with a chance to win, so what is Race Control supposed to do? Yes it can park a driver for rough driving (Paul Tracy missed the 1999 season opener), but Power has been one of the fastest and best the past decade, so let’s not run him out of town just yet.
Q: Right upfront I want to say that I have never liked Will Power. I will not deny he is fast, and he is a series and Indy 500 champion. At Road America’s doubleheader, he threatened to wreck Scott Dixon in Race 1 if he challenged him for the lead, then drove like a maniac when Dixon did exactly that. In Race 2, he wrecked RHR at the first corner and caused Graham Rahal to have a massive accident after what Paul Tracy called a “hip-check” on that same first lap. Then, he had a massive shunt all by himself and was lucky to continue the race with a relatively minor penalty.
My question is rather simple: is Will Power a malicious driver, or is he just plain dumb? He comes across as rather simple-minded in his interviews, and from the comments, it would seem the other drivers have a similar opinion about him. I’m surprised that Penske continues to employ him as there are much better, younger and less controversial drivers available now. Maybe it’s time for Power to go walkabout…
Rob, London, ON
RM: A lot of people misconstrue Will’s personality as aloof when in fact, he’s just kind of quiet. And he’s a good guy with a dry sense of humor. He’s neither malicious or dumb behind the wheel, but every now and then racers get a little over-aggressive and it bites them. But he hasn’t earned 37 wins and 57 poles because he’s lucky or a dirty driver. He had a bad first lap at Road America, that’s all.
Q: What has gotten into Will Power? My friend asked for my take on him Saturday and I said he was very aggressive, unlike seasons past. He thought he was too aggressive. Well, after seeing his new “aggressiveness” on Sunday, I believe he successfully passed his NASCAR audition! He punts RHR into a frightening shunt, then nearly takes out Rahal, and is assessed a drive-through penalty, which he did while still under the yellow! I thought penalties were to be served only after going back to green? Is his contract coming to its end, and do you think he is feeling desperate to prove himself still viable on the team?
He is one of his generation’s finest IndyCar drivers, mostly while being a nice, but competitive racer, and it appears that he has adopted the “no more Mr. Nice Guy” mantra. He has nothing to prove in motorsport, and I certainly don’t want him to hurt himself or other drivers. I was never a die-hard Power fan because he drove for Penske (I love The Captain now!) and seemed a bit aloof, but re-evaluated my feelings for him, and was even pulling for him last year! Certainly, he is closer to a sports car career but is still a fast, talented driver. I just hate to see him jeopardize his legacy.
It was great to see fans at the track, but watching Felix Rosenqvist going through all his post-race photos with that stupid mask on made me nauseous! He wasn’t near anybody!
Dan in CA, but moving to AZ soon!
RM: Well, he was two seconds away from winning Saturday’s race at Road America (Dixon beat him out on the last pit stop), and comfortably ahead at IMS before stalling after his first pit stop, so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with him. He may be pressing a little because Ganassi is 4-0 and Team Penske is all about winning and it’s his contract year, but it’s still early. I wouldn’t bet against him.