On Milwaukee and IndyCar penalties | Ask the Expert IndyCar Series

by Curt Cavin

Question: I made my first trip up to Milwaukee this past weekend with my wife and dad for Father’s Day. Wow! What an awesome event. The atmosphere was amazing, people were friendly and the racing was great. We attend the 500 every year and I think we’ll continue making the trip to Milwaukee as well. (Ryan, Greenwood, Ind.)

Answer: It’s generally been good for all of those reasons, but I thought Andretti Sports Marketing again showed it knows how to put on an event. The infield was terrific, especially the area for the kids. I know the walk-up crowd was limited by the poor weather forecast, but I hope the event continues. It’s terrific and, as you noted, the racing is very good, too.

Question: Now, if anybody complains about Milwakuee, they will have to turn in their race fan badge. (Jim, Indianapolis)

Answer: You won’t hear a peep from me. I love the action at that track, and Saturday’s show was another good example.

Question: Noticed you left the Penske penalty from Texas alone for awhile, then when you did finally get around to it, your story was as if you had no opinion at all. (Big J., Queen Creek, Ariz.)

Answer: I didn’t include my opinion in the newspaper story because that’s not my place; this is. My opinion on these things are, the driver and the entrant are one in the same. If one is penalized, the other is, too, and that’s how it’s been done for years upon years. It’s that way so that a team can’t cheat its way into a driver championship, which ultimately is the only championship that matters to the public. It seems to me there’s been a change in policy the past two seasons regarding driver points being taken away, and that “precedent” is what Derrick Walker referenced. Walker vowed to make the rulebook clear on this subject moving forward, and that’s good. But here’s the real problem and something I’ve been harping on for years: IndyCar needs to be completely transparent with its penalties so that we can gauge consistency. Right now we can’t because we’re not sure what has been levied and what hasn’t.

Question: Just a quick thought: Who would have thought at this point in the season Franchitti and Power would be 10th and 11th in the point standings? (Gregg, Ross Township, Ohio)

Answer: No one. And no one would have thought those two would go more than a calendar year without a win. The most amazing stat of all is that 12 drivers have won a race since Power has. Think about that! That’s mind-boggling. That’s half the field.

Question: In all the talk about Indianapolis installing lights and hosting a night race, be it the Brickyard or the 500, has anyone ever considered IMS might be too big for a night in terms of capacity? When and where has a night race been held that drew 250,000 people and released them at 11 p.m. at night? Largest night race I can think of is the July Daytona race for NASCAR, which might draw 140,000. Can Speedway, Ind., handle 250k people that late at night? (Daniel, Cleveland)

Answer: Actually, that’s long been the argument against lights. I think the feelings on that have softened over the years. I expect we’ll see lights in the next few years.

Question: What do you think of Jeff Burton’s comment that NASCAR is the leader in motor sports safety? NASCAR is the organization that was about two years behind the IRL and CCWS in mandating helmets for over the wall pit crew members. (Michael, Glen Jean, W.V.)

Answer: What else would you expect Jeff Burton to say? But give NASCAR credit for all its progress over the past decade.

Question: In your opinion what does Mark Miles have to do to remain CEO vs. being in a line of the next CEO? (Tony, Indianapolis)

Answer: Ultimately, it comes down to improving the financial bottom line.

This originally appeared here.