Welcome to the RACER Mailbag. Questions for any of RACER’s writers can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to the high volume of questions received, we can’t guarantee that every letter will be published, but we’ll answer as many as we can. Published questions may be edited for length and clarity. Questions received after 3pm ET each Monday will appear the following week.
Q: I have a large collection of RACER mags in chronological order from approximately 1992-2003. Just curious to know what you think this is worth?
MARSHALL PRUETT: I’d have to guess $5/per for the newer ones and $10 for the early stuff, Todd. I have a similar collection of RACERs from the same period, plus the rest of the 2010s and I think everything else up to the last issue. I also have a lot of duplicates I need to pass onto new homes and will probably follow the same $5/$10 approach. Same with a ton of old Autosports, On Tracks, Motor Sports, and other magazines that occupy way too many crates in my office closet and in storage.
I’m always afraid the next knock on our door will be from the racing memorabilia division of the TV show Hoarders…
Q: I’m a big fan of Kyle Larson and read he has permission to run the Indy/Charlotte double. What IndyCar team would he run for? I think he would be great because of his skill and talent and practice time. With the right team and guidance he would be competitive like Kurt Busch was a few years ago
Mike Mehl, Vancouver, WA
MP: Hi Michael — as always, thanks to the great contributions to the sport from your father. He was a good man.
Kyle’s a Team Chevy guy, so that cuts his options in half. We know Team Penske has no interest in expanding for Indy, so the next-best team is Arrow McLaren SP. There’s been plenty of rumors of Kyle heading to AMSP, but I believe he was recently informed that he wouldn’t be in a fourth car for next year’s Indy 500. Beyond AMSP, Ed Carpenter’s expressed zero interest in diluting his efforts to win his first Indy 500, and after Ed, there are no Chevy-powered teams worthy of Larson’s talents.
Q: There was speculation on the “Trackside” radio show that Ed Carpenter Racing might make sense for either Kyle Busch or Kyle Larson, given Ed’s previous association with John Menard. I doubt that Ed wants to run five cars, assuming he plans to continue driving. He might not even want to run four. I’m afraid Simona could get pushed aside. Beth Paretta seems to feel she is on solid ground with Chevy, but someone is going to end up on the outside looking in. What do you think?
Patrick, Brownsburg, IN
MP: I’d use recent history as a guide, Patrick, where McLaren came calling with Fernando Alonso and a lot of cash to run its 2019 Indy 500 program, and Ed — and I love this about him — couldn’t give two farts about the money, driver, or team trying to get him to put another car in the field.
That’s not meant as a disrespect to Fernando, McLaren, etc., but more of an appreciation of how Ed’s daily focus is on how he can make his full-time team better and win the race he lives to win — the Indy 500 — as a driver or, second-best, as an entrant with his entrenched brothers and sisters. Taking a big paycheck to help a one-off driver to win the Indy 500, as he said in basic terms back in 2019, makes no sense to him. If that were to somehow change and Busch/Larson ends up in an extra ECR entry, I would be shocked and disappointed. He and Beth are already working together and trying to grow their relationship; if ECR is going to run someone else at Indy, it should be Simona.
Q: Do Chevy and Honda ever communicate with other engine manufacturers with regard to possible participation in IndyCar? “Hey, Toyota, come play with us in IndyCar! Here’s what you need to know…”
MP: They have in print, Matt. Both brands have been very vocal, at times, since the 2013 season when they were left to split the engine supply responsibility when Lotus bailed. But are they calling the switchboard at Toyota, Ford, BMW, and so on, and asking to speak to the CEO? No.
Q: Is Texas Motor Speedway consulting with either NASCAR or IndyCar on its redesign?
MP: The track tells me they are not, Shawn.
Q: Is Alpine committed to introducing a Hypercar for 2024? I have seen some posts and a video regarding what looks like a Hypercar concept, but I’m not sure if it is a pure concept or an actual race car. There seems to be mention of hydrogen fuel in the video comments. If it is a Hypercar, one would assume Mecachrome would be a partner, perhaps using some F1/F2 technology? Regardless, the concept is awesome — looks like cross of an Acura ARX-06 and a Peugeot 9X8. And it’s a really cool color of blue…
Jonathan and Cleide Morris, Ventura, CA
MP: They’ve said they’re coming to Hypercar. But if what they wrote is truthful, it’s a concept car. It would be strange to present a race car as a concept car if they intend to race the car. Looks amazing.
Q: How will the Nashville stadium construction impact the Nashville GP? If construction made the area unusable for a year or two, would the promoters bite at promoting a race at the Nashville Superspeedway oval?
Gordon from Dallas
MP: I understand the looming new-stadium build will force the Nashville GP promoters to come up with a new layout. The promoters don’t own the oval, nor would I expect them to try and run their race on someone else’s track. I bet we’ll see some new configurations appear leading into the next race, provided the new stadium is confirmed and its location is where it’s been mentioned.
Q: With the news of next year’s IndyCar spring training being at a private track in California, a thought came to me, which is this: How many hotel rooms does IndyCar need for a race weekend? Of course I’m talking about rooms for drivers, team principles, mechanics, caterers, sanctioning body support staff, media, etc., but not fans. In terms of logistics for holding a race at that track in California, it seems quite a bit isolated. Do they have enough rooms even within a half hour of the track?
MP: Folks will be flying into Palm Springs airport, which is an indicator of the general area where Spring Training will be held — a well-established vacation and resort community dating back to the ’40s and ’50s. There’s no concern about a lack of places to stay, eat, etc. Most teams have their crews going two per room, so depending on the size of the entry list, plus the operational side of the series, and the rest of us monkeys, I’d guess 150-200 hotel rooms per night.