Robin Miller's Mailbag for August 26, presented by Honda Racing/HPD

Illustration by Paul Laguette

Robin Miller's Mailbag for August 26, presented by Honda Racing/HPD

Insights & Analysis

Robin Miller's Mailbag for August 26, presented by Honda Racing/HPD


Q: The pre-race coverage: poor, Good that they interviewed Mario, but no R.P.? No A.J.?  No T.K.? No Alonso? Very weak! Race coverage: Average, decent color by P.T. and T.B. but no Miller? Poor-to-no pit reporting, and that Rutledge dude (still?). Dodge have a majority ownership in NBC? Why is he on the screen doing totally wasteful and idiotic segments? Danica is not good in front of the camera, never was and Tirico did a good job. The video was not good, and a few of my viewing friends agreed. NBC is getting three stars for this one, and I’m being a little generous.

Skip Ranfone, Summerfield, FL

RM: I didn’t see the whole pre-race show, but that’s surprising NBC didn’t do something on T.K.’s last ride and R.P.’s takeover, and I had an A.J. feature that didn’t make it. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and TV viewer and a couple of the folks you mentioned are very popular with NBC. But Tirico is the best.

Q: I don’t want to start picking on NBC‘s coverage of the Indy 500, but it seems to me that something was lacking. Were there less cameras and less crew on the ground? Was it the B team of production directors? It seems like a lot of things were missed. Or is it just my imagination because this was the strangest Indy 500 ever?

Greg in Chicago

RM: Other than not really jumping on Dixon keeping his lead under green and then lapping Team Penske, I thought NBC’s booth did a good job of staying on top of the race. And I don’t think much action was missed on the track.

Q: What was with NBC all but ignoring the King of Indy on Sunday? It was his 65th Indy and they couldn’t do an interview, include him in the segment of watching former winners react to their victories or show him in the pit box? Very disappointing.


RM: Here’s the interview I did with him last week and it was posted on but, unfortunately, didn’t make the broadcast.

At least one camera managed to find A.J. at the track. Barry Cantrell/Motorsport Images

Q: I think there’s a lot of talking points to be had about the aeroscreen in after the Indy 500. While I don’t know if it saved Pigot’s life like P.T. suggested on the broadcast (not sure the attenuator made it over the cockpit), it obviously saved James Davison. When the wheel, or rotor, or whatever it was exploded, parts ricocheted off the aeroscreen at an unholy rate of speed. If not for the device Davison would’ve been comatose or worse, without a question. The incident also proves why the halo always has been and continues to be an incomplete solution. If that happens on an F1 car, the driver gets struck in the head, and it’s frustrating to me that they aren’t actively working to develop a polycarbonate adaptation for the halo.

While the aeroscreen was validated in that sense, I think the Indy 500 also showed us an area where we need to continue improving. It seemed like some of the drivers were having issues disconnecting the cooling hose when trying to climb from the cockpit in a hurry. I’m not sure if the answer is the hose or connection itself, or the space the drivers have to work with when making a fast escape. Any thoughts on what remedies might be looked into there?

Alex from Detroit

RM: I never saw a replay that showed Davison being sprayed by debris, but it’s good to know if he was that the aeroscreen helped keep him from harm. But I have no suggestions or clue what is right or wrong or effective. I’m a writer not an engineer, and I think IndyCar has some competent people working on it.

Q: Any word on when the Mid-Ohio date will be confirmed? My wife and I want to go camping there to make up for missing the 500 this year. But we’re under three weeks to the anticipated date, and still no official word.

Ben Malec, Buffalo Grove, IL

RM: I’m hearing Sept. 13-14.

Q: What is the most successful car in Indy 500 history? Has any car won the 500 more than once? Al Unser’s Colt from 1970 and 1971 look very similar, but were they the same car?

Ben, Grand Rapids

RM: Vuky’s roadster in 1953-54-55 was on its way to three in a row, and Unser’s chassis had some modifications from 1970 to 1971.

Q: If we are seeing speeds eclipse 232-233 at 750hp in current IndyCar at IMS, how fast will they be going as IndyCar pushes up the power as is planned? What will they top out at say 850hp? 900hp? 950hp? I can’t see being comfortable with guys getting above 240 but… you tell me.

Justin, Huntington, IN

RM: They always claim that 900hp is a goal and that would likely put Luyendyk’s track record in jeopardy, but I don’t think 240mph laps are necessary or add anything since we can’t tell 220 from 230.