Q: Is it really necessary for the broadcasters to mention the team name every time they refer to a driver? Wouldn’t it be better if they were to mention the sponsor and not the team name? Or maybe Leigh Diffey just likes saying Juncos Hollinger Racing or Rahal Letterman Lanigan over and over and over again. Same complaint goes for IMSA announcers.
MP: It’s the stylistic standard, so they’re doing what they’re supposed to do. Counter to that, it isn’t their job to promote each team’s sponsors — not when IndyCar’s TV is paid for by advertisers.
Q: IMSA seems to be very opposed to a Glickenhaus entry in the new GTP category. The DeltaWing was allowed to run for several years, albeit with a rule set that prevented it from being consistently fast. The 007 LMH is beautiful and a great experience in engineering. Isn’t the whole point of sports car racing that you encourage as many different solutions to a set of regulations as possible? Can you shed light on IMSA’s perspective?
MP: Biggest difference here is ALMS founder/IMSA owner Don Panoz, who sold the series to NASCAR/Grand-Am, carried influence within the new IMSA series that followed and ensured he was able to run his DeltaWing. Jim Glickenhaus doesn’t wield the same influence, unfortunately, as I’d love to see his cars run in IMSA. A greater point to consider is Jim’s loud and public complaints are the exact kind of thing NASCAR/IMSA abhors, and if history is a guide, Glickenhaus will not be successful using this approach.
Q: Chip Ganassi was quoted as saying: “Parkland believes in our entire organization and I’m proud to share that they’ll be the first sponsor to support both our NTT IndyCar and Indy Lights series teams.” Looks like CGR will field an Indy Lights team in 2023. Is this proof that Penske will incentivize IndyCar teams to have a Lights team?
MP: Well spotted, Oliver. That stuck out to me as well, but the team says it won’t be starting a Lights program; the money will go to Kyffin Simpson’s TJ Speed team.
Q: In last week’s Mailbag you mentioned you could not recall if there was ever an IndyCar and ARCA combo. Well, check out the Champ Car race at Milwaukee on June 4, 2005: It was paired with an ARCA race. And yes, it was an odd combo.
Ben Malec, Buffalo Grove, IL
MP: Thanks, Ben. Yep, there were lots of IRL+stock car series events back in the day. Friday nights were the only time I got to see NASCAR Truck races since they were often the opening act in the IRL’s all-oval days. They also drew bigger crowds on a regular basis than the Saturday night IRL feature…
Q: You mentioned that the boost given for Friday and Saturday
is “road course boost.” Is extra boost given for all road and/or street course races? Also, is boost given for the 500? And if so, is it the same as Friday and Saturday?
MP: IndyCar has given drivers road course boost for Fast Friday and qualifying weekend for about 10 years. It’s just for those days, then back to low boost.
THE FINAL WORDFrom Robin Miller’s Mailbag, May 24, 2017 Q: Sorry to her about Jim McElreath. I was there when he battled Art Pollard in the inaugural California 500. It was better than any 500-miler I’d seen (on closed circuit or TV) or listened to on the radio going back to the ’57 Indy 500. Back and forth at the end until Pollard cut down a tire and nearly stuck it in the wall going through Turn 4, giving McElreath the final pass. Any good stories?
Jim Patton, Lindale, TX
ROBIN MILLER: After Jim won that race, he was walking back to the Holiday Inn (at least three miles away) with his driver’s suit tied around his waist before somebody recognized him and gave him a ride. That was him, a self-made badass and not one to ask anybody for favors or help.