Robin Miller's Mailbag for July 15, presented by Honda Racing / HPD

Robin Miller's Mailbag for July 15, presented by Honda Racing / HPD

Insights & Analysis

Robin Miller's Mailbag for July 15, presented by Honda Racing / HPD


Q: My suggestion to yourself and anyone else who thinks the Cup Series should race at the IMS road course is that you should have your meds checked. This last race was fine. It was compelling. It would be even more so without stages. Suggesting the Cup Series run the road course at IMS because they don’t ”put on a good show” or the races “are not competitive” would be like suggesting the Colts play the Patriots in soccer in Foxboro because when they play New England at home they don’t put on a good show and they are not competitive.

Don Anderson, Oak Park, IL

RM: Well Don, if it was compelling it’s the first time in a long time the Brickyard 400 was associated with that word, because it’s usually a snoozefest. It had an exciting finish because of a late restart, but how anyone can watch all that droning around is beyond me. On the other hand, the Xfinity race on the IMS road course was the best of the weekend, and Sonoma and The Glen are always entertaining for Cup because the drivers are hustling and showing their skills.

Q: With the completion of the first IndyCar/NASCAR doubleheader at IMS complete and rumors circulating that NASCAR might race on the road course at Daytona, plus considering that they likely will not be granted a quarantine waiver from the New York Gov. for Watkins Glen, do you see a possibility in a few years down the road of a possible NASCAR/IndyCar doubleheader on the Daytona road course? NASCAR and IndyCar shared the site of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Maybe it’s time for them to share the “World Center of Racing”?

Kevin, North Carolina

RM: God, I hope not, and I doubt it. I think there are much better options for a doubleheader on a road course, but NASCAR gets a great turnout at Watkins Glen so it doesn’t need any help there, and maybe the Roval in Charlotte could be considered. But Road America or Mid-Ohio would be my choices.

Q: I am not a fan of these start/restart zones, especially on road and street courses. IndyCar needs to let the leader dictate the pace entering the final turn at the latest. Paul Tracy said during Road America Race 1 that back in the day, the leaders would pick up the pace as they came out of Canada Corner.

Rob Peterson, Rochester, NY

RM: So you’d rather see the leader take off that early and leave everyone behind instead of waiting to the main straightaway where a lot of the passing takes place on a restart? Sorry, I disagree.

Q: Watching Road America while listening to the talk around damper (shock) setup, or about teams changing the brand of dampers in the off-season (Carlin now using Penske shocks), I had an idea. Since the dampers are a big deal in making up deficits in speed and cost a lot but aren’t visible to the fans, couldn’t IndyCar mandate that teams list their brand of dampers on the car? Maybe on the black floors outside of the main cockpit or near the wheels/tires? It would give the damper arms race more public visibility and would promote the companies involved.

Nick, Wisconsin

RM: I don’t know Nick, that seems like a stretch. How many people would actually care if you had different dampers on different corners? I guess you could do it if those companies put up some decent money for using their product or a year-end fund, but I don’t see it.

Dampers at dawn. Image by Motorsport Images

Q: What do you think about the new lift installed at the Speedway for the winning car? I thought it was kind of cool, but then seeing it in action it seems to take some of the spontaneity out of the moment. Also among the improvements, I see the men’s room troughs were replaced with new ones, and thought an old one would be a hell of an addition to the Man Cave.

Tom Corso, Rancho Mirage, CA

RM: It was done for the fans so they could see the winner as they saluted him so that’s cool, but I imagine those old pissers have long since been destroyed.

Q: I will never forget seeing Rick Mears running the original “Roval” – the old configuration of Laguna Seca! Please, please talk about that track during your coverage at the ‘Seca doubleheader! Speaking of high-speed runs, I am curious how the drivers are like having less helmet buffeting because of the new aeroscreen? I notice a lot less turbulence during the in-car camera shots.

Jeff Eliseo

RM: The first turn was badass, and I just hope there’s a Laguna Seca to talk about this season. I think the drivers like less buffeting, but the tradeoff was the cockpit heat, which wasn’t so nice, but hopefully the improvements they made for RA worked.

Q: As a fellow old-timer, I think I know the hardest two jobs in IndyCar. Keeping the faith for team Foyt, and whomever has to sell sponsorship dollars for them. Also known as no progress nor luck. Hoping for progress and luck for T.K. at Indy. I’m with dad and son Foyt always, but it’s very frustrating. Can only imagine how they feel. Can’t imagine IndyCar without the Foyt name attached to a car. Gosh help us Foyt-loyal geezers!

Ron Carbaugh, Eaton, Ohio

RM: I imagine it does test one’s loyalty, but the memories probably keep guys like you going. ABC Supply was a great sponsor but is only around for Indy now and finding money isn’t easy for guys running up front. But thankfully A.J.’s legend keeps some companies interested, and I can’t imagine IndyCar without him, either. Hoping T.K. and Mike Colliver can find some magic at Indy.