Robin Miller’s Mailbag for April 21, presented by Honda Racing / HPD

Robin Miller’s Mailbag for April 21, presented by Honda Racing / HPD


Robin Miller’s Mailbag for April 21, presented by Honda Racing / HPD


Q: Miller, good call on Palou winning a race in 2021. But did you think it would be the opener?

Whitey, Wilmot, WI

RM: No, I predicted Road America, and he may win a couple now. But I still need 13 different winners to make my number.

Q: It seemed like Conor Daly was poised to have a good race since he was fast in practice and qualified 10th. It seems like the same thing happened to him at Barber that typically happens to him. He is not able to keep pace and can barely stay on the lead lap. Towards the end of the radio broadcast, they talked about a conversation between Conor and his team about not being able to keep up with VeeKay even after he pitted four times. They told him flat out you’re not keeping pace. This is a recurring problem, and from what learned in the radio broadcast, it seems like ECR thinks this is a driver error. Do you think Daly is on the hot seat, and do you think ECR would make a change before the 500?

Tyler, Dayton, OH

RM: Not sure what happened; I wasn’t at the race, so unless you can talk to the team and driver it’s all guessing about what went wrong. But, no, he’s not in the hot seat. USAF loves him and he’s got some good races ahead of him.

Q: My wife and I were first-time visitors to the IndyCar race at Barber Motorsports Park. Great racing by all series the entire weekend, and the facility is top-notch and beautiful, as was the Sunday weather. Is Alex Palou the first Spaniard to win an IndyCar/Champ Car race?

Werner, Cedar Grove, WI

RM: Nope. Oriol Servia triumphed at Montreal in 2005.

Servia put Spain onto the top step of the podium at Montreal in 2005. Streck/Motorsport Images

Q: I enjoyed the Barber race and thought that Palou did a magnificent job. He held off Will Power and Dixon to win! The NBC coverage was not great; too many long commercial breaks. What bothered me most was how they doted on Johnson. Come on, he finished 19th and three laps down, and they interviewed him before Power and didn’t interview Dixon. Lost in this was Bourdais’ fifth-place finish, which had to be the best for Foyt in a long time, or Grosjean’s 10th. This is starting to remind me of when Danica raced. It was like Danica and the boys are racing. I hope that Johnson does well, but don’t dote on him, especially when he is not doing well. Do you agree?

Ron Farris

RM: I think a seven-time NASCAR champion making his IndyCar debut is plenty newsworthy, and who knows how many NASCAR fans might have switched back and forth to watch? It’s understood we don’t want to watch him running 17th if there’s a good battle up front, but I don’t think NBC sacrificed any racing to show J.J. And they interviewed Dixie and Pato.

Q: Over the weekend, I watched the Peacock broadcasts from Barber. Six slots over two days. And readers bitch about paying $4.99 per month?


RM: The only complaints I got (and there were several) was that the replay wasn’t shown on Sunday night, but NBC said those glitches will be addressed and they apologize.

Q: Interesting situation coming up at Penske in the near future. Newgarden is there for the foreseeable future. McLaughlin, barring a disastrous performance this year, is probably going to be around a while. This leaves Pagenaud and Willy P maybe on the way out. Who would Penske go after if they are gone? Herta? Rossi? Pato? At least one of those guys are going there someday. Also, what would the value of Pagenaud and Power be in free agency? They both can still bring it.

Brian Henris, Fort Mill, SC

RM: One race in and we’re talking silly season? If Pagenaud has another year like 2020 he’s likely gone, but Willy P. ain’t goin’ anywhere and who knows what The Captain might be looking for? Did you think Scott McLaughlin was going to be a Penske IndyCar driver a year ago? I would think Rossi, Herta, O’Ward, VeeKay and Palou are all on RP’s radar, but way too early to start guessing or writing about it.

Q: I want to mention Rasmus Lindh, who came second to Kyle Kirwood two seasons running by just two points both times in 2018 and 2019 in the Road to Indy. He was not on the grid at Barber. I find it strange that no IndyCar team has supported him and secured a possible champion driver for the future. We see driver academies in F1 from Alpine, Mercedes, Williams, Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren. When will this become a feature in IndyCar, especially with the grid sizes increasing in the Road to Indy this year?

Oliver Wells

RM: You realize of course that most ladder champs or winners only get into IndyCar because of money, and I would imagine Lindh could have a spot somewhere in IndyCar if he raises enough. That’s just the reality. Pato may be the only guy recently who got hired and just brought his helmet.

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