The RACER Mailbag, September 14
Welcome to the RACER Mailbag. Questions for any of RACER’s writers may be despatched to email@example.com. As a result of excessive quantity of questions obtained, we will’t assure that each letter will likely be revealed, however we’ll reply as many as we will. Revealed questions could also be edited for size and readability. Questions obtained after 3pm ET every Monday will seem the next week.
Q: Final week’s Mailbag featured ‘Steve from Chicago’, aka ‘Mailbag Skynet’ complaining about NASCAR and another man moaning about Ferris wheels and occasions. My query to all of the Skynets out there’s, are all of the diehard followers being so damaging on the sequence all of us love a part of the issue? Simply saying it will get previous.
David, Chattanooga, TN
MARSHALL PRUETT: Preaching to the choir, David.
Q: When ought to we count on the 2023 IndyCar schedule to be introduced? I’m assuming it will be similar to this yr’s 17-race calendar. Thanks!
Eric in Mequon, WI
MP: Subsequent week or two, I consider. Just some last bits to button up, I’m informed, with Texas and Toronto as the 2 foremost ones I’ve heard about.
Q: As nice a drive as Newgarden put collectively at Laguna Seca, it will have been nice for that to have been for the championship. Sadly, much like final yr, he got here up quick with an enormous a part of it being a possible race win escaping him resulting from a automobile failure out of his management and him ending on the again. Congrats to Energy on his consistency and sealing his legacy with not solely a second championship, but additionally surpassing Mario Andretti on profession poles.
My query is, how was Palou not penalized for his unsafe launch? He hit a automobile on his exit. Even the sales space stated he ought to be penalized. We’ve seen drivers get penalized for lower than that previously.
MP: I’m grateful there was no motion taken. The lightest contact potential was made, neither driver or automobile had been damage, and the race went on with no hazard to the crews and no benefit gained or misplaced. If that’s the type of stuff we’re going to penalize, all the subject will likely be penalized at most races. I blame System 1, the place one driver sneezing close to one other is the topic of a penalty evaluation by race management. It’s a horrible method to the game.
Q: I’m undecided if studying an excessive amount of into this, however I’m catching a little bit of pressure between Josef and Will. With Will profitable, it’s appeared like Josef doesn’t have something to say about Will and hardly cared to congratulate his teammate. I do know he misplaced the race and the championship and had a up and down yr – is that this a small signal of inter-team points round who’s the No.1 at Penske? Have we seen a distinct angle from Newgarden this season that now we have by no means seen?
MP: Darkish Josef made quite a few appearances this yr, didn’t he, Tristan? He’s let the tougher fringe of his aggressive spirit shine via this season, and I adore it. As for a rift between himself and Energy, I haven’t seen it, however figuring out how a lot hearth burns inside him, I’d put good cash on Josef being angry-mystified at how he received 5 races and misplaced the title whereas Energy received one race and took the title dwelling. As I witnessed his angle within the post-race press convention, it was emotions of bitterness at arising quick greater than damaging emotions in the direction of his teammate.
Q: The engine noise when the in-car cameras had been on, together with the trackside background sound, utterly overpowered the race commentary all weekend on NBC’s Laguna Seca protection final weekend. Unlucky, as these new to the game had been left at nighttime with out the advantage of what I assume was informative and insightful narration. Any concept if this sound combine was intentional?
MP: Did NBC deliberately drown out its commentators on the season finale? Come on, man.
Q: I do know consistency issues, however one win in 17 races and also you’re celebrating profitable the championship? One win? One. Possibly a factors adjustment would assist make profitable rely extra?
Jeff Brown, Bernardsville, NJ
MP: I hear you, Jeff; I’d have most well-liked to see Energy have two or three wins, however each driver had an equal alternative to win the championship and all however Energy failed of their mission. Most of the time, the IndyCar title winner is the one that was most constant throughout all the season as a substitute of the one that received a ton but additionally had a ton of poor finishes. Energy leveled the competitors by taking 9 podiums, which is exceptional.
Q: Earlier than the season we questioned if the Huge 3 groups would change into the Huge 4. Would McLaren solidify itself as a perennial risk? Then the highest six within the championship had been occupied by three Penske and three Ganassi drivers. Huge 4? Extra like High 2. Andretti has had its credentials revoked, and if it loses Herta (it ought to; he’s certified for F1) I’d decide Coyne to have a greater yr than Andretti in 2023.
Ryan in West Michigan
MP: Such a bizarre yr in that regard, Ryan. We’ve had the Huge 3 endlessly and I’m not eager on increasing it to the Huge 4 or Huge 5; it must be a knockout situation the place somebody’s at all times vying for P3 within the Huge 3. However I’m good with it being lowered to the Huge 2, as a result of that’s the place we ended up this season.
Andretti Autosport must earn its method again into the Huge 3, little doubt, and whereas AMSP took their spot for a lot of the season, they light — for the second consecutive yr—down the homestretch and watched as Penske and Ganassi created clear separation from the remainder of the sector. I can’t wait to see who tries to assert P3 within the Huge 3 subsequent season.
Q: After watching Will win in Laguna after which flipping over to see Bubba win in Kansas, my query is, the place have the celebration donuts and burnouts gone in IndyCar? Within the final two races Will and Scott went straight to victory lane, however in NASCAR they spend 5 minutes doing donuts and burnouts in entrance of the flag stand. I perceive in the event that they don’t wish to tear up tools and whether it is associated to a TV window, however I do love me some donuts!
MP: I’ve been questioning about the identical factor, Steve. Figuring out the way it was the final race of the season for that engine, I did count on some tasty donuts from DJ Willy P, however he was decidedly mellow after clinching the championship. They’re all fearful about damaging the motors, so I ponder if Chevy and Honda can develop a ‘Donut Map’ the place the engines are pulled down from a max of 12,000 rpms to 10,000 or so.