The RACER Mailbag, Might 24
Welcome to the RACER Mailbag. Questions for any of RACER’s writers could be despatched to email@example.com. Because of the excessive quantity of questions acquired, we are able to’t assure that each letter shall be revealed, however we’ll reply as many as we are able to. Revealed questions could also be edited for size and readability. Questions acquired after 3pm ET every Monday will seem the next week.
Q: One bit of knowledge I actually, actually wished to know all day throughout qualifying was who was in line and the order of that line. Would that not be an incredible addition to the protection?
MARSHALL PRUETT: Some people love the minutia like that, Craig. I’m not one in all them, however a good friend of mine was accountable for capturing precisely what you’ve talked about, together with the time they pulled into the road, for his or her crew’s management in actual time so that they knew how and when to react whereas within the storage.
Q: For the reason that IndyCar app up to date earlier this season it’s been stuffed with points. It’s 2023 and it’s exhausting to think about an app that doesn’t work, particularly after IndyCar was selling their “up to date” app earlier than the season opener. Any information on when the app shall be fastened? Throughout qualifying, the app was displaying a handful of automotive with out speeds — simply one in all many points.
MP: Sorry to listen to, Craig. I exploit the IndyCar App roughly twice a 12 months, and haven’t to this point in 2023, so I’m ineffective right here and don’t hold monitor of what’s or isn’t occurring with it. If I discover out, I’ll point out it on my podcast.
Q: Do you assume Graham Rahal will depart his father’s crew? I feel he ought to. Clearly this crew shall be backmarkers for subsequent couple of years. He deserves higher.
MP: He does. Time for an additional rebuild, and most veterans — in any sport — are detest to burn their closing years ready for his or her crew to get their **** collectively. I’m assured Graham might convey a ton of funding to any crew with a gap, and it’s not that he’d must pay, however he does have some very dedicated sponsors who’re there due to him.
I’m extra involved about Graham retiring if the remainder of the season is a downer.
Q: It’s fairly clear that Group Penske is lacking one thing that different groups have recognized for some time. It’s the fourth 12 months with subpar leads to Indy 500 qualifying. Identical automotive, identical engines, identical situations but others are capable of finding velocity however not Group Penske. Any concepts why?
MP: I don’t, and but, in Monday’s two-hour apply session, DJ Willy P was P1. However ECR and Arrow McLaren have had Penske’s quantity just lately in Indy qualifying. From 2015-19, Penske gained Indy thrice. Since shopping for IMS and IndyCar in 2020, Penske’s been on an 0-fer. Does that streak finish on Sunday? Dunno, but when so, my cash’s on McLaughlin and Ben Bretzman.
Q: My query is in regards to the “evil” chassis of Callum Ilott/JHR. What’s going to occur to that? Does it return to Dallara to be inspected? Does the JHR store crew examine it? I might think about one thing that unfit to be raced doesn’t simply return into the crew’s chassis rotation.
MP: My guess is there was one thing wonky occurring with the ground/underwing whereas at velocity. Callum stated they did torsional rigidity exams and located no points. His major grievance was the erratic dealing with, which, within the absence of a damaged shock, feels like a non-linear aero problem. Hearken to the nice crew chiefs, and so they’ll inform you that some flooring are problematic. That’s my guess right here, and as for the chassis, I’m unsure what’s going to occur to it. I really feel assured in saying Ilott will move on utilizing it once more…
Q: Nice motion throughout qualifying on Saturday. Couple of questions for you:
1. Are you able to clarify Penske’s technique of dropping Newgarden and McLaughlin from their unique qualifying spots? Cindric’s rationalization about ready for higher climate and extra tinkering with the automobiles made sense to the printed crew. Undecided I purchased that rationalization after watching others publish higher instances than Energy later within the day. Would’ve thought the No. 2 and No. 3 automobiles have been able to go and didn’t want any additional tuning. And with all of the exercise towards the tip of the session, the No. 2 automotive actually gambled to set a time. Was the technique sound, or did Penske swing and miss?
2. My spouse observed throughout David Malukas’s first run that he had the automotive in fourth gear for many of the lap (apart from a brief fifth gear run from the beginning/end line to the Flip 1 entry). In later runs he was operating in fifth and sixth gear. Didn’t discover any others operating that lengthy in fourth. Any purpose why you’d hold in a decrease gear for that lengthy on a quick circuit?
Darrin, Brentwood, TN
MP: There’s loads of strain on Group Penske to be the perfect, so even in one thing as comparatively unimportant as qualifying for a 500-mile race, there’s speedy embarrassment — or the notion of it — inside the crew in the event that they aren’t the perfect. Additionally, they’re full of extremely aggressive personalities, so with these two mixed, you’ve a gaggle that gained’t settle for respectable runs to P15 or wherever. Add in how they’d no prepared solutions for methods to discover one other 2mph, and I didn’t see the arrogance and clear technique on methods to overcome their points. Inaction isn’t one thing they embrace, so giving it one other go was a becoming response that simply didn’t have the result they wished.
Selecting the right gearing is rarely a precise science, and all it takes is a rise in wind or the wind disappearing to take you out of the correct rev vary. My guess is the crew made a gear change after his first run.
Q: Sorry, however I’ve seen and heard sufficient. I must rant. Your complete NBC broadcast crew needs to be summarily fired. After awaiting the previous week, their incompetence and ignorance is unimaginable. Living proof, the dialogue about taking elements off Katherine Legge’s automotive to placed on different RLL automobiles was completely false. I’m no IndyCar rulebook particular person, however I do know sufficient that that’s unlawful. Each Bell and Hinchcliffe exhibited their ignorance of the foundations. Diffey fell proper in with them. It’s akin to only winging it. It’s a dismissable offense.
Letarte is a NASCAR man, interval. He is aware of little to nothing about IndyCar. His customary response is, “in NASCAR we might do that.” Earth to Letarte, that is IndyCar, not NASCAR. I actually don’t care what Stewart, Gibbs or every other NASCAR crew would do. This crew must go. Now.
Dale, Chesterfield, VA
MP: If we’re going to bin the full-time crew as a result of they made a collective mistake a couple of rule, we’ll be firing broadcast groups on a nightly foundation throughout all main sports activities.
I get it. We wish our TV folks to know the whole lot and to at all times get it proper. However that’s by no means occurred, ever, in any sport.
Hell, I spent two or three months in direction of the tip of the 2021 season getting some main elements of the Leaders Circle eligibility utterly flawed, and but, I’ve been spared the electrical chair. Possibly NBC will ship its IndyCar and IMSA specialists to name a few of NASCAR’s greatest races and make these followers tremendous blissful (kidding).
Q: My coronary heart actually goes out to the RLL crew. They’ve been struggling ever since Takuma Sato gained his second Indy 500. What occurred? Are they spending an excessive amount of effort on the IMSA prototype program? I really feel RLL wants to chop again to a two-car crew. I additionally assume that although Graham Rahal has been considerably profitable in IndyCar, he’s going both dangle it up or race in IMSA.
Alistair, Springfield, MO
MP: Unusual to see the final two groups Taku drove for, within the final two entries he piloted — the No. 51 at Coyne and No. 30 at RLL — caught within the LCQ…whereas he was battling for pole with Chip.
The crew took a giant swing with a brand new engineering construction and it simply hasn’t labored. That was obvious properly earlier than we obtained to Indy, however the season remains to be young-ish, so that you give it the advantage of time. If it weren’t for Lundgaard and his engineer shining once in a while, we’d be in Colonel Jessup “Code Purple” territory. After Graham’s DNQ, I worry we’re headed in direction of a home cleansing.