Robin Miller’s Mailbag for June 9, presented by Honda Racing / HPD

Robin Miller’s Mailbag for June 9, presented by Honda Racing / HPD

Insights & Analysis

Robin Miller’s Mailbag for June 9, presented by Honda Racing / HPD


Q: I just finished listening to Marshall Pruett’s podcast with Helio, and hearing him talk about wanting to continue racing for a few more years got me to thinking. When it comes to the other members of the four-time club, have A.J., Al Sr. and Rick ever talked to you about when they realized/decided that it was time to stop racing? And if so, what was the deciding factor where the desire to step aside started to outweigh the desire to win number No. 5?

Brad in Seattle

RM: Rick said at breakfast the other morning he knew he was losing interest when he showed up for a test day and hadn’t given the car or setup one thought the night before. Big Al just knew it was time and so did A.J., albeit a few years too late.

Q: I consider the Borg-Warner Trophy to be one of the most iconic trophies in all of sports, only equaled by the Stanley Cup, which is awarded to the winning team at the conclusion of the National Hockey League playoffs. In recent years the NHL has had to remove winning teams’ rosters from the Cup as it’s becoming too large to handle. Has Indy Car considered a similar move with the Borg-Warner Trophy as it grows in size, or maybe considered creating a second trophy?

Mike Medlen, Livonia, MI

RM: Not to my knowledge — it’s iconic and one trophy seems to be perfect.

Q: I’m a long-time race fan and a mechanic. I do wonder sometimes when I’m working: How mechanically-inclined are today’s drivers? Maybe not on their own race car, but are there some willing to tinker with a classic car or even change the oil on their own road car? While I’m on the subject, is there any unwritten rules in the garage area that says a driver has to lend a hand to the mechanics working on the car (perhaps offer donuts to the crew after a long night after a wreck)?

Brandon Karsten

RM: Drivers have to help the mechanics? Good lord no, they’d all want to quit. I have no idea who tinkers with cars except retired guys like P.T.

Not all modern drivers are afraid to get their hands dirty. (Possibly a poor choice of words considering he’s wearing gloves, but the point stands). Andy Hone/Motorsport Images

Q: Can you tell me about this Eldora race? I live close by. So, this Tony Stewart thing, (ED: SRX) it’s a reality show/racing series? So, these drivers are gonna really get serious exposure? Marco and Helio… this could be good for their careers, aye? Are you going to Eldora?

Dan, Lima, OH

RM: Going to be identical tin-tops racing on CBS on six straight Saturday nights starting on June 12 at Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Connecticut, and wrapping July 17 at the Nashville Fairgrounds. And I expect it will draw well, but I doubt if it offers any career-changing moments. No, I’m not going but I’ll be watching. Here’s the schedule (each race will be shown at 8 p.m. ET on CBS): June 12: Stafford Motor Speedway; June 19: Knoxville Raceway (dirt); June 26: Eldora Speedway (dirt); July 3: Lucas Oil Raceway; July 10: Slinger Speedway; July 17: Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.

Q: Just read your most recent Mailbag, then saw on RACER that Formula 1 is looking to avoid a date conflict with the Indy 500. What are the odds that we could get enough drivers, cars and teams to make this a game-changer? I’d be willing to be a stooge. (I’ll have to practice my wall jumping).

The Amberjack

RM: Lando Norris and Kevin Magnussen said they’d like to try Indy some day, but so far McLaren is the only team that’s shown any interest.

Q: Hi Robin. Still miss ya on the NBC broadcasts.

My subject this week is IndyCar vs NASCAR on road circuits. I live near Road America and our IndyCar race is two weeks off and it draws one of IndyCar’s biggest crowds. Now that the powers that be at NASCAR have decided that road circuits are the way to go and RA will host its first NASCAR Cup race in over 50 years on the 4th of July… to hear everyone here talk, this will be the biggest event ever held on the track. Will IndyCar now have to start competing at yet another level with NASCAR when the tin-tops start poaching venues? There’s a limited supply of entertainment dollars available and I’d sure hate seeing them bounce IndyCar off of some of their most valuable tracks. Your thoughts? Hope you’re doing well.

Mike McFarland, Elkhart Lake, WI

RM: NASCAR finally figured out its road course racing blows its ovals away (Sunday at Sonoma was a good example) and street circuits will be next. Not sure NASCAR will outdraw the Mansell years at Road America, but look at The Glen and Sonoma crowds compared to IndyCar and it’s easy to see why the trend is road racing.