Q: I know you get tired of answering Nazareth Speedway questions. Now that we are post-season, I figured I’d do a little online research to satisfy my own curiosity. As far as there being any hope of racing at the facility again, the answer is a resounding no as evidenced by the YouTube videos I saw: Local news report from 2017-no racing was a condition of sale to the current owner.
RM: No grandstands, no track and no chance is what I’ve said for years, and thanks for your reporting.
Q: Hey Robin, just thought I’d let you know that I received an email from organizers of the Portland G.P. They are transferring all tickets from this year’s race to next year’s race. My rooms are booked and can’t wait for the race. Hope to see you there.
Brad Heuer, Coeurdalene, Idaho
RM: Good to hear, thanks for sharing the info.
Q: I wanted to give you, hopefully, something beyond a Canadian perspective of where IndyCar is today. I was on the Champ Car team and it has taken me a long time to heal.
First, as a Canadian, I have to thank Roger Penske for fixing the TV coverage in Canada. I wrote to you in March of 2019 (like many other angry Canadians).
In a year where it’s easy to complain, I am grateful that IndyCar was able to put together a season. It’s such a competitive series, with a strong and diverse field of drivers, and this is before Scott McLaughlin joins. As many as 26 cars in 2021? Aeroscreen protection for the drivers… Hopefully things will improve, and in the not-to-distant future I can visit Road America or Mid-Ohio for a race. For now, I am happy to be a fan in the ‘Penske Era’ of open-wheel racing.
Carlo Ardizzi, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
RM: Thanks for the update on Canadian TV coverage. I had not heard anything one way or the other so that’s good news.
Q: What were the TV ratings for St. Pete? A late fall date on the main NBC network should be good. Especially the finale to decide the championship. It showed the best of IndyCar. The veterans did well (outside of Power, who still mastered the track in his pole run). Fan-favorite Hinchcliffe did well, though he botched his chance to win. Rookies did well, A.J. Foyt’s team showed well, and Marco Andretti showed some brilliant driving by passing multiple cars before being crashed out of the race. Fans and IndyCar should be so proud they managed to finish the season on a high note with fans in the stands and great racing. You, Robin Miller, are great too. Loved your answer last week about doing the original Cannonball Run with Brock Yates. People notice your answers to the whiners of IndyCar, and I think of Brock Yates. He didn’t take any crap in his columns, and people like me loved him too. Keep it up.
Bob Hunt, Lodi, WI
RM: Considering it was NBC network and the race had quite a bit of drama they weren’t very good – 675,000 – but the overall ratings were up slightly from 2019.
Q: A few evenings ago, I re-watched the 1994 Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix held at the always-entertaining Nazareth Speedway. In Paul Page’s opening monologue on the ESPN telecast, he did an excellent job of chronicling Al Jr.’s incredible season, while also highlighting PT and Emmo’s push to achieve a Penske 1-2-3 in the PPG Indy Car World Series Championship. I enjoyed the monologue, as I did most them, but the conclusion of this one struck me as particularly apropos. Referring to Roger Penske directly, Page asserted, “Why is there a Penske dynasty? Because while most of us dream of the future, Roger is already working on it.”
In my humble opinion, this sums up the greatness of Roger Penske quite succinctly. His visionary rather than reactionary mind has facilitated successes in almost everything he’s attempted, and such is the reason the NTT IndyCar Series stands a snowballs-chance-in-hell of surviving, as we enter the third decade of this ridiculous century. In sum, please let me join the long list of Mailbag participants in congratulating Mr. Penske and his team on giving us an Indy 500, an IndyCar season, and at least the hope that there will be many 500s and seasons to come. With much admiration and respect (for you and Mr. Pruett),
Daniel Pratt, The People’s Republic of Austin
RM: Thanks Daniel, we’ll end this Mailbag on a positive note, and a good job by Paul Page.