Q: I'm sure you're mailbox will be inundated tons on the Dixon penalty. I'll leave that to the others. What I take bigger issue with is Dixon's accusation that it was intentional. I find it hard to believe that a crew member would risk injury like that. People accused Dario of deliberately crashing at Indy this year. I recall back in 2007 when Michael Andretti accused Dixon of intentionally blocking Dario during a wreck's aftermath at Belle Isle. So my question is, do you believe things like this are done intentionally ever, (do you have some examples) or are people just making excuses?
Andrew Howard, Fort Wayne, Indiana
RM: No, I don't think anybody is going to intentionally hit a wall to help his pal (although Little E admitted he spun out on purpose at Bristol to get him a caution) and especially at Indianapolis. The only thing I can remember that broaches this subject is when they ran Johnny Parsons out of fuel in the Indy 500 to get teammate Gordon Johncock a yellow.
Q: Am I the only one who thinks Franchitti's “accident” at the Indy 500 that allowed Kanaan to win was intentional? Why have I never seen a replay? What did you mean when you asked Franchitti if he was happy that he had beaten the Andretti team at Sonoma? Why, in the TV coverage, do they tout the Penske and Ganassi teams' respect for one another and omit the Andretti team?
RM: No, there are some other conspiracy theorists about Indy to which I always say: how would Dario know TK was still leading since the leader was always a sitting duck on restarts? I don't recall asking Dario anything about beating the Andretti team and, trust me, Leigh Diffey, Wally Dallenbach and Townsend Bell have said plenty of nice things about the Andretti team.
Q: I've read your mailbag for years and this is my first write-in. After reading some comments after the Sonoma race I'm rather ticked off. I love that both IndyCar and F1 are now on NBCSN but people don't understand the difference in the two. IndyCar has the best on-track product this year hands down. People who watched both races this weekend seem to think IndyCar is well below F1. I disagree. You don't have the parity in IndyCar because it is a 'spec' series. It takes $10 million to run IndyCar vs $100 million for F1. I believe the talent throughout the field is greater than F1. The field is so spread out in F1 it gets boring at times. IndyCar is nose-to-tail all race and of course there will be contact. The only question I have is why doesn't IndyCar ask Sonoma Raceway to resurface the track? Barber has turned into an amazing track, one of the Top 5 in the country, after they did some grinding this past off season. Would the same help for Sonoma even with all the dirt and dust that gets blown around?
G. Edwin, Indianapolis
RM: Not sure repaving would be as good as widening it at certain places but not much you can do about dirt and dust. There was plenty of passing last Sunday at Sonoma and I think many F1 fans enjoy the cars and skill of the drivers more than watching for overtaking. I'd love to see Mid-Ohio, Laguna Seca and Sonoma all get wider and some surgery to make them racier.
Q: Not really a question this time, but a suggestion...Here's hoping that every single team starts running around the car swinging a tire out as far as you can in the hopes that at least half of the other cars hit them and have to do a drive through. They just need to dress in football pads but that will make it a bit more challenging to get over the wall.
Karyn Gil, Sacramento, CA
RM: It's pretty challenging as it is but when you see all the replays I have, the Penske crewman wasn't the villain he's being portrayed as.