Milka, Oh-No!

At the risk of coming across as a bully or a sexist, it’s time for Milka Duno to be parked…permanently. Although I’ve only seen Ms. Duno from afar in the garage area – she comes across as a very nice person. But my mother is a very nice person and she never in her life had any business being in a racecar. Neither does Milka Duno.

Milka is extremely intelligent, as she holds four masters degrees and can speak six languages. Again – these are very admirable skills she has acquired, but they do not qualify her to drive an IndyCar. Nor does the fact that she has the backing of a very large oil company in her homeland of Venezuela, make her the equal of others on the track.

Being the punch line to a lot of jokes has also become rather commonplace for Milka. She was the subject of an infamous Ashley Judd tirade a few seasons ago. That same year, she also incurred the wrath of Danica Patrick. This season, a driver’s wife has started a tongue-in-cheek movement on Twitter to “park Milka”. So it’s not a gender thing, why I’m complaining. While I’m not so much a fan of Ms. Patrick; I am very much a fan of Sarah Fisher, Simona de Silvestro and Ana Beatriz.  And I personally like Milka – just not on the track.

Milka Duno will turn thirty-eight tomorrow. She is unique in a lot of ways, but one is how old she was before she ever sat in a racecar…twenty-four, in 1996. That year she drove in the Venezuelan GT Championship, finishing second. Two years later in 1998, she finished fourth in the Venezuelan Porsche Supercup Championship. She has also driven in the Barber Dodge Series as well as the ALMS and Rolex Grand-Am Series – where she benefited from her team’s second place finish,which allowed her to set the record as the highest finishing woman in the 24 Hours of Daytona.

In 2007, Duno made her IndyCar debut at Kansas Speedway with SAMAX Racing – the same team that powered her in Grand-Am racing; as she drove to what now appears to be a respectable fourteenth place finish. I say respectable because it seems that Milka has regressed considerably since her rookie year in 2007.

For the next two years, Milka Duno drove a partial schedule for Dreyer & Reinbold – although there was a two-week pre-season dalliance with Newman/Haas/Lanigan in 2009, that had everyone scratching their head – ultimately Duno re-signed with Dreyer & Reinbold. For this season, Milka seems to have found a home that nearly matches her racing prowess – Dale Coyne Racing.

Actually, that’s not entirely fair to Dale Coyne. Although his team was a perennial bottom-feeder for years in CART and Champ Car, they had stepped up their game in recent years to actually win their first race in 2009. However, the loss of driver Justin Wilson, sponsor Z-Line Designs and engineer Bill Pappas proved to be too much to overcome; so they were forced to adjust their goals for 2010. In fact, Dale Coyne Racing is apparently not the problem, as Duno was more than five seconds off the pace set by her rookie teammate Alex Lloyd, at Barber.

At Long Beach this past weekend, things continued to go further south for Milka. She was so slow in practice; Brian Barnhart wouldn’t even let her qualify because she would slow down the other drivers that were on a hot lap. They allowed her to start the race from the back of the field – nothing different there; but they told her that she would be called in if she were deemed too far off the pace. She was parked on lap ten.

The regression in Milka’s driving skills is what I find so baffling. It’s true that she has never run a full season in the IZOD IndyCar Series before this season – and seat time is so vital for an inexperience driver. It’s also true that in her four seasons in the series, she has always been in second-rate equipment. Dreyer & Reinbold made major strides in this past offseason, but the last couple of years for them were not stellar. Still, one would think she could at least be competitive with the next to last place car. Instead, her times this season would put her near the back of the Firestone Indy Lights grid.

My concern is not for the image of the series. In fact, when Milka is out of the car, she is generally an excellent ambassador for the league. She seems to always take time with the fans and I’ve never once heard her say a cross word about another driver. No, my concern is for the safety of the other drivers. What I saw at Barber was a slow moving chicane causing a major hazard, that drivers shouldn’t have to deal with on a regular basis. To put it bluntly, I’m surprised that she hasn’t created a serious injury situation on the track…yet.

The number of entries will prevent her from making the field in this year’s Indianapolis 500. With upwards of forty entries trying to make the field, some very good drivers will be going home this year. So will Milka Duno. But what about Kansas? What about Texas? Those are two high speed tracks in the immediate future that will have no set car limit to weed her out.

Brian Barnhart strongly suggested to Marty Roth that he find another role in the IZOD IndyCar Series, at the end of the 2008 season. Marty didn’t seem to cause near the havoc that Milka has caused this season. Barnhart has earned the nickname among fans as the “Iron Hand of Justice”. Now is the time for Brian Barnhart to make the tough call to park Milka Duno, before something happens on the track that’s far worse than hurting the feelings of a very nice person.

George Phillips


75 Responses to “Milka, Oh-No!”

  1. Bent Wickerbill Says:

    George you are absoloutely right. I saw the magnitude of Ms. Duno’s on track tardiness with my own eyes at Barber. After only a handful of laps, she was already so far behind the entire field, that they, the field was down the long straightaway between turn 11 and 12 before Ms. Duno had entered turn 10-11.
    There was more than one occasion when she literally became the centerpiece in a three car sandwich as much faster cars attempted to navigate around her similtaneously while either entering or exiting a corner.
    Autoracing is inherently dangerous, it really is time for Ms. Duno to hang it up.

  2. tim nothhelfer Says:

    She may have the ability to be competitive somewhere….not the IICS.
    For someone with four masters degrees it is surprising she has not figured this out.

  3. I’ll wait and see how she performs on the ovals before I ask that she be parked. I’d also add that I believe she will qualify for the Indy 500, a few years ago she was running a decent 500 until Buddy Lazier (who was a lap down) took her out in turn 3.

  4. So much for affirmative action here.
    While you are bashing Milka Duno for her lack of skills remember that Izod is not just about racing.
    There is something to be said for this good-old- boys club, though.

  5. George,

    “but so is my Mother and she has no business being in a race car” just made me spew my coffee!

    You are absolutely right. It is a safety issue at this point. I think she’s had enough chances to show if she belongs. The league needs to park her before she hurts someone.

    • Brian McKay Says:

      Yes, she’s had enough chances and has exposed real races to the danger of a rolling Citgo billboard. Ms. Duno should qualify within 105% of the speed of fastest qualifier to be allowed to ‘race’ (ahem) on any oval.

  6. Safety first…really? Someone has to be last-

    Some negative effects of the good ol’ boy network are its exclusion of others, leading to leaders of a community possibly limiting business transactions to other elites, or to friends or acquaintances from within the network, to give friends better deals, and generally to reinforce traditional power structures over any other elements in the society…and slow on the track.

    The Good old boys in modern times also include woman BTW-
    actually, what George just said borders on defamation (from the definitions that I have been given by one team’s attorney,,)
    If it were anyone else but Milka in this network, you would find a C&D on your doorstep…

  7. bickelmom Says:

    I think you said that very well, George. Milka is a wonderfully nice person and a great ambassador for the league. In fact, I know one little girl at my son’s preschool who has met Milka on many occasions and wants to be a driver too because of how lovely Milka has been. So there is certainly no question of her abilities outside the race car to speak for the series and promote it.

    However, she is being coming a danger to herself and others. I’ll be curious to see how she does on ovals, but if there isn’t a marked improvement soon, she should be asked to stop. Perhaps another racing series would be better suited for her? Or in some other capacity for IndyCar?

  8. BentWickerbill Says:

    If Ms. Duno is asked to take it elsewhere and she should be, it certainly will not be as if she will be the sole . Marty Roth, & Eddy (cheap shot) Cheever come to mind…. Anyone thinking about turning this into an equal opportunity, good ole’ boy case, should probably take the needle out of their arm. What about Danica, Simone and the very much beloved Sarah… Talk about C&D, please, give it a rest….

  9. If it were “Green” a few years ago then “danger” would be o.k..
    Since Izod is the silent boss…
    Milka serves as the slow safety net on the track…for pretty cars and prettier drivers. Plain and simple-

    Pro racing is a dangerous business-can’t have it both ways-especially when you are training children to race-

    Shut down all the slow drivers and you will have mayhem on the track. Moraes is fast but just as scary as Milka Duno, who in her own right deserves to participate. She brings in $$$
    Just as who is to say that RHR is to good for the team he is on-

    • BentWickerbill Says:

      There are varying degrees of slow and last….
      Just as there are varying degrees of danger and assumed risk….
      It is always the unknown quantity, in this case, broad variations from one day to the next in ability / performance that invite catastrophe.
      It is important to always remain vigilant in this regard.

  10. This is supposed to be a top level professional racing series.

    She does not belong and NEVER has.

    The IRL needer her and her money a few years ago, for car count. They don’t need her now.

    If it hurts Coyne, so what? He is supposed to be a professional race owner. Go out and find the money on your own to run your team. If you can’t, don’t run. Simple as that.

    One thing for sure, NASCAR would have NEVER allowed a Milka Duno on the track in Cup.

    • Brian McKay Says:

      Agreed — I don’t want Dale Coyne racing’s employees to lose jobs, but find funding to run a very talented, skilled Indy Lights racer or alumnus (Vernay, Hinch, Clarke) — then get on the podium — and get further funding — and back on the top step of the podium — and further funding.
      Give talented, skilled, fast, and competitive young guns opportunity to move up!

      As you wrote, we expect that this is North America’s top open-wheel race series, not ‘ridebuyer racing league.’

  11. If they parked Roth, they should park Milka.

    Why wouldn’t she take her sponsor money and run in Lights or ALMS for awhile? She really needs the help on the twisties. Or better yet, take what must be excellent fund-raising skills and become an owner.

    She seems like she’d be an great person to meet–just not on the track.

  12. You know who else is crazy-smart & otherwise ENTIRELY AWESOME? Dr. Stephen Hawking. Does that mean HE should be out there driving IndyCars? My heart says yes … but my common sense says otherwise. (Same goes for Milka. Tough break, m’lady.)

  13. Namitamaki Says:

    Considering that Milka Dunno’s Birthday is tomorrow
    (29 Golden Crowns) and since this is not the Shang-hai Autosport International, very poor timing for bloggers criticism.
    Pot calling the kettle black is invective.

  14. The reason Milka wasn’t parked and Marty was is because IndyCar doesn’t want to piss off CITGO. That’s the only reason that comes to my mind. She may be marketable and all but you’d think they’d be able to find a better Venezuelan driver somewhere to sponsor. I don’t know; maybe CITGO LIKES being a backmarker because you get more attention lapped all the time and seconds off the pace than you do regularly running 16th.

    MARS, it isn’t sexism. Shigeaki Hattori and Marty Roth have been parked before, and neither were this slow. Eddie Cheever? While I think he kind of sucked, he was basically just a mediocrity and he was not the worst driver in the IRL, even in 2006 (that would either be Kosuke Matsuura or Jeff Simmons or Ed Carpenter, in my opinion). Cheever’s team folded because he ran out of money. If it were sexism, people would be calling for women like Sarah Fisher or Simona de Silvestro (who are a little slow, due to weak equipment) to be off the track as well, but pretty much everyone likes them. THAT would be sexism, but I think there would be equal outrage if she was Mike Duno instead of Milka Duno.

    I disagree that NASCAR would not allow somebody Dunoesque on the track. Hideo Fukuyama is the first Cup driver to come to mind…took two provisionals in two starts and was waaaaay off the pace driving for Travis Carter (around the same time Todd Bodine and even JIMMY SPENCER were winning poles for the team). Nationwide would have several awful drivers of that general caliber, and the trucks have an army of field-fillers who might be at that level. ARCA is LOADED with sub-mediocrities, enough so that Scott Speed dominated the title chase (and we’ve seen how much he sucks in Cup), David Stremme LAPPED THE FIELD once, and totally talentless offspring like Jason Jarrett, Kerry Earnhardt, and Justin Labonte can win races. So the stock car ranks definitely have their . Really, all series do because every series is too expensive, and no series has a full field of teams with a level of sponsorship greater than or equal to how much it costs to run a team.

    • I was sloppy there. I left two unfinished clauses in the NASCAR section, so I’ll rewrite here:

      Nationwide would have several awful drivers of that general caliber [if the Cup drivers and teams didn’t make up over half that series]

      So the stock car ranks definitely have their [equally notorious backmarkers]

      I’ll add one more comment. Cup still has enough money to avoid having a full-time completely sucky ride-buyer, but in about five years, when more and more are the sponsors are gone as only Hendrick, Stewart-Haas, Roush, Childress, Gibbs, Penske, MWR, and Red Bull by this point will have ANY funding (which will at most be 29/43 cars), you are going to see Milka equivalents in NASCAR because of how hard-up NASCAR is for sponsorship. They’re in decline too…

      • Brian McKay Says:

        Let Ms. Duno troll around behind a pack of Sprint Cup cars, slowly showing giant Citgo decals to fans in the stands…

      • billytheskink Says:

        NASCAR does have a good history of doing what the IRL did to Milka at Long Beach, letting the dregs start and then parking them before the first pit stop.
        Not that there aren’t teams that have done (and continue to do) so because they couldn’t afford to run the car beyond qualifying and starting.

        That’s a process I’m comfortable with in NASCAR or IndyCar, though I’d be more comfortable if the same courtesy was given to Marty Roth (or to Shegiaki Hattori in CART).

  15. MARS, your “good ol’ boys network” theory is clearly dispoven by the fact that the series parked Marty Roth. If it were a “good ol’ boys network”, Roth would still be out on the track now.

    I have never met Ms. Duno, but others who have all say that she is an extremely nice, friendly woman, and she’s obviously book smart. All of which would make her a great spokesperson/ambassador/Hispanic community representative for the series, but not a race car driver. I agree with George, and everyone else on this. When you’re slower than the legendary Hiro Matshushita and Dennis Vitolo-I’m obviously being sarcastic about the legendary part-then you need to be parked.

    BTW, that “win” she got in the Grand-Am series had more to do with her male co-driver, sports car ace Andy Wallace, than MIlka as Peter Baron, team owner of SAMAX Racing, got her out of the car as soon as could be done. She doesn’t belong on the track. Any track.

    • Since you are “Naming Names” I can think of a few others who should have been parked.
      2008 was a great year for Parco pals.

  16. I myself did have the chance to meet Milka. She seemed to be a very nice person and took the time to chat with and sign autographs for the swarms of fans surrounding her. But personality aside she should be parked like Roth. She is creating a danger to herself and to the others on the track. Lets just hope for her sake and the sake of her fellow drives and fans she doesnt cause a horrific crash that causes injury to anyone before she is parked.

  17. Namitamaki Says:

    Mr. Moraes and his feuding friend should also be considered for parked…
    It is one thing to be slow, then there is danger. The start of the Indy 500 last year and then on to Brazil. No one has asked that these two very young men be parked.
    Happy Birthday to my Milka-

    • Brian McKay Says:

      How was that Mr. Andretti’s fault?!

    • MARS (we all know this is you, on your third or fourth screen name),
      You claim to be a “knowledgeable racing fan”, but you don’t seem to understand that things like what happened at Indy last year and Sao Paulo this year with Mario Moraes and Marco Andretti happen ALL THE TIME in racing, and they always have. Two racing drivers often attempt to occupy the same piece of asphalt, and that is only tangentially related to the age of the drivers (younger drivers being slightly wilder than older ones, but that hardly explains why drivers like Paul Tracy find themselves in these sorts of scrapes constantly). What doesn’t happen all the time is a sanctioning body allowing one driver to circulate the track at 80-90% of the speed of ALL of the rest of the field, because that is extremely unsafe. There is an ocean of difference between what Milka does every week and when Marco was a couple of tenths of a second off the pace for a few races a couple of years ago. Also, I’d like to point out that Marco and his team DID park their own car a couple of times, in the interests of safety for both Marco and the rest of the field. For somebody who claims to be a huge proponent of safety, I don’t understand what you think you’re doing by defending Milka.

      You’re back to your old tricks again, making nonsensical statements and carrying out your old vendettas. Stop it. None of us wants to hear it. You’re winning yourself no followers here and you only continue to make yourself and your cause look bad and uninformed.

  18. For the time being, as long as Coyne only has his doors open because of Milka’s Citgo money, I’m OK with Brian Barnhart doing exactly what he did at Long Beach: allow her to practice a little bit, if she’s near the pace she can qualify (likely last or close to last), and then once she does something dumb or falls way off the pace in the race, pull her in right away. Citgo gets to say that they were on the track, she gets to meet and greet her fans and sign autographs, everybody else stays largely unaffected. For 2011 and forward, though, maybe she should be told to find another series.

    Milka would be just fine going back to GrandAm to be the “gentlewoman”, funded driver in a two-driver team, like John Pew and Tracy Krohn are for their teams, though Pew and Krohn are arguably faster than Milka. Speeds and stakes are lower in GrandAm and funded gentlemen drivers are pretty common. Running around for 45 minutes per race and racking up 6-10th place finishes there is pretty much her true destiny. People (including myself a couple of times) held out hope that the lightbulb would go off for Milka in an IndyCar, that she might close the gap to the next-slowest car to more like 1-2 seconds, and that she would figure out how to better avoid the leaders and maintain consistent lines so that she could be lapped more safely, but all of that clearly hasn’t happened. In fact, the gap between her and the rest of the field opened up, post-mergification (when the talent pool got significantly deeper).

    Anyway, I’m just glad that the leash appears to be getting shorter. Let’s hope it stays that way, for everybody’s safety.

  19. BTW sexism and the good old boys can include woman as well in a modern definition.
    If you want to take names-start taking them, start a new committee for slow “girls” on the track.
    The committee could be chaired by Ashley Judd et al.
    FYI-SG; I feel sorry for MA actually, he should join the Army or something where he could be all that he could be.Take a real risk and be a real man- Hopefully “the kid” will get a raise in his allowance-
    After 5 years of watching these bullies in action, I can honestly say Milka Dunno is just as good as any of the other woman or children on the track.(Accept Simona, I lived in Geneve in 1981 and know how great she is.) DP is just so, so. SF deserves credit for her hard work, not that great of a driver-and admittedly she is a great athlete. Milka Dunno is just trying to show the world that she also can achieve a place on the track.

    What a pathetic vendetta before the woman’s birthday.

  20. Also, SG., ALMS is way better than Izod Indy.
    Izod is a soft racing venue the average speed this year has been about 101 mph. Now that the clothing company is the silent partner and selling SPEED freely to children at Macy’s. Milka should be able to stay-

    • “After 5 years of watching these bullies in action, I can honestly say Milka Dunno is just as good as any of the other woman or children on the track.”

      You have been watching different races than I have, then.

      Not a single group of three consecutive words in either of your last two posts made any sense at all. Milka has had almost three years to get up to speed and has failed. Therefore, she should be kept on as short a leash as possible, lest she pose a threat to other drivers (this is not sexist, as most people felt the same way about Marty Roth, but almost nobody has made similar demands of Danica and Simona because they clearly do have the talent to compete in IndyCar). Likewise, you have had nearly six months here to make a point that anybody can understand. Also, likewise, you have failed in that regard.

      Five months ago, you positioned both Izod and Ryan Hunter-Reay as the great white hope for the future because they presented, if memory serves, a “collegiate, responsible” image. Then, they signed a deal with the hated (by you) Andretti Autosports, so now they’re immoral and irresponsible? That is some twisted logic.

      I don’t understand what you’re doing here. That goes for watching IndyCar racing, as you clearly don’t like or approve of 90% of what is going on at any time. It also goes for posting here, as you continue to devalue your cause by posting gibberish, again and again and again. If you are looking for people to support your cause, you are not likely to find any by posting inflammatory, nonsensical material in blog comments. I have not asked and will not ask George to delete your posts because as you have pointed out, it is a free country and you are allowed to say whatever you want. But I am asking you to re-think what you’re doing.

  21. Hey George,

    Interesting that you used enough discretion not to mention Nicole Manske Briscoe by name while you decided this issue was important enough to add yet another Milka hack job to the blogosphere.

    This is about rules, and how they are enforced under the discretion of the Senior Official, (Brian Barnhart) and written by the IRL.

    Mr. Barnhart didn’t have any problem pulling Milka Duno out of Mid-Ohio last year, or St. Pete and the LBGP this year. And he didn’t see fit to Black Flag her when she was six laps down at Homestead in ’09. While running 7 laps ahead of Sarah Fisher.

    There are rules for Entrant and Driver Licenses, and discretion permitted to revoke them. There are rules which govern the payout of TEAM money to licensed participants.

    Where’s the rub? Everybody’s doing their job. Duno is staying out of everybody’s way, and not wrecking them like some of the other backmarkers have been prone to do. She’s not endangering others by overdriving her ability and wrecking her car.

    And Barnhart pulls her off when he sees that “Any condition exists which could cause the Driver or the Driver’s Car to create a hazerd for the Driver or others”. (7.7 A. (1) )

    Citgo gets what they pay for, Dale Coyne gets the $1.3M he was promised by the IICS, and his two car team stays afloat. Everything by the rules, with Barnhart positioned to enforce them.

    He uses discretion too, George. Like taking care of the situation when he deems it as dangerous, in a manner that doesn’t unnecessarily disgrace the sponsor, the team or the driver. Discreetly.

    If you want to criticize Mr. Barnhart for not policing the rules, or you want to criticize the IRL for their licensing and TEAM policies or the absence of a 107% rule, shove another post up.

    It’s pretty obvious that fan votes don’t get to decide who gets to race in this series and who doesn’t. Bandwagons would circle everytime a few bloggers pick out their next target. Who’s in charge of parking the bandwagon drivers, especially the backmarkers?

    Maybe you should rant on something nobody else is considering. Like after all this time, the ICONIC panel has seven weeks to come up with a chassis selection and engine specification. Barnhart, Cotman, Gossage, De Ferran, and Long all have a fair amount of other responsibilities to attend to. There are two races to be run, in addition to the little gathering in May that still pops up in the blogosprhere now and then.

    • BentWickerbill Says:

      Duno is staying out of everybody’s way, and not wrecking them like some of the other backmarkers have been prone to do.
      Not wrecking them…. No, not yet anyway….
      She’s not endangering others by overdriving her ability and wrecking her car.
      No, not yet this year….
      Andy, I think part of the problem is neither yourself or Mr. Barnhart was sitting in turns 10-11 @ Barber, when on several occasions Ms. Duno found herself the centerpiece of a three wide sandwich as she did not seem to be able to find either a place on the high or low side of the track to drive her race.
      Again, there is a difference between being in the back of the pack and being many laps down. Generally speaking, that is probably not as big an issue at Barber as it might be at a place like St. Pete or Long Beach. But her lack of competitiveness and the possible danger that presents is a factor to consider just the same.
      BTW… This is a blog about the IRL, therefore people including the site owner will have a tendancy to voice their opinion on things related to the IRL, including the drivers good or bad, including yourself. Why is Milka off limits….

      • Nobody is off limits, and all deserve fair evaluation on an individual basis. Milka Duno is under close scrutiny. The “factor to consider” is being addressed: ALL the factors to consider are dismissed by the Milka bull specialists.

        Perhaps the next bandwaggoneer will start a campaign about how Dan Wheldon took out three cars in the first two races, or start baking Baguette for being in the way at Kansas next race when he gets lapped three times.

      • Yeah, if Milka conducts herself this year the way she did for most of the day at Kansas last year, I hope that Brian Barnhart uses his recent precedent to pull her off with a quickness. She spent most of the race wandering around from top line to bottm line and back again, oblivious to whether anybody was approaching to lap her. She may be within the bounds of the rules by being out there, but I just hope that the League and its drivers can continue to dodge Milka’s slow moving bullet.

      • Hey, now. New reply by Andy, so new comment from me.

        First up, somebody probably will complain about Bert Bready after Kansas. I wouldn’t worry about him escaping peoples’ scorn if he’s slow out there, though being the reigning World Series by Renault champion, he probably won’t get the respect that he deserves by most fans because he’s furrin’ and has a funny name.

        Second, what, Wheldon’s rear suspension breaking at St. Pete is HIS fault now? Come on, dude. You’re trying to make a point, I know, but that’s not all that well constructed.

    • Truculent Says:

      Yeah. That’s Milka’s PR person.

      I wonder what you do in your spare time, AB, when you’re not out on TrackForum or blogger websites criticizing the hell out of people. How long before you depart this place stomping your feet like a little girl like you have elsewhere because someone disagreed with you?

      Sad. As sad as the fact that Duno was six seconds a lap off the pace at Long Beach.

      • Maybe redd was right, it isn’t face to face when a well-reknowed journalist like Tony Johns is afraid put his own name atop his personal attacks.

        That was a nice job of spreading ointement on your stab wounds you did in today’s article, Tony.

        Perhaps you’ll be doing it again tomorrow for stabbing Bruce Martin.

      • Hello Andy. George was kind enough to direct me to your comment here. I am sorry to say that you have mistaken me for someone else – although given the person’s pseudonym I can see why you might have done so.

        I have – and continue to – put my real name on all of my writing and take responsibility for said writing for good and for bad. I am aware that you have issues with me personally and I can’t help that – but I would ask that you bring them up to me personally or at POV and not resort to cluttering up someone else’s blog by bringing them up.

        For all of your annoyance with me and with other bloggers in general, I think you are capable of some interesting insight. But that insight is wasted if you cannot equitably deal with other points of view. I’m sure you might direct the same criticism at me based on our history and your point would be well-taken.

        At any rate, to address George’s topic I am satisfied with Brian Barnhart parking Milka at Long Beach. He saw the hazard and acted. Like I’ve repeatedly said, my personal experiences with Milka have always been positive but there comes a point where race control needs to act for the safety of other competitors, and that was one situation where they did. It wasn’t, as you put it, “Milka Bull” – it was a smart decision.


      • Hello Tony.

        If I falsely attributed someone else’s comments to you, that is a mistake for which I apologize.

        The posture of your statement here regarding the topic is quite different from the original “Milka Bull” you wrote. And it is quite clear to anyone who has read my statements that I believe Mr. Barnart’s handling of this issue is appropriate. I coined the quote to characterize the public sentiment, not the discrete manner with which Mr. Barnhart resolved the situation.

  22. RND Motorsports Race Week Says:

    I professionally know and understand the sever limitations (FINANCIAL, TESTING, PRACTICE, SEAT TIME) that Milka has incured in her quest to becoming the competitive IndyCar driver that she so possess the talant for. I also personally know that NO ONE is more aware nor concerned by her/teams performance then Milka. She is also very aware of those people that support and stand by her. As for her fate? I’ll leave that to Milka and the “pros” to work out.

    In today’s “Instant Karma” world of mass electronic communication where anyone can aquire a domain name and become the “journalistic expert” that the (real) media community somehow missed out on recognizing his or hers talants, “bloggers” have also become a driver’s hazard. But, I guess the view from the judgement seat has always been better from an “ivory tower”, one’s sofa or peering through the “other side” of a fence at a racetrack.

    However long or short of a driving career Ms. Duno has; IndyCar driver is just ONE of the latest chapters in this amazing woman’s life story. We should ALL be so fortunate.

    • What, you’re gonna blame bloggers for this? I don’t remember a blogger shaking his fist at Milka at Kansas last year (well, OK, I did, but I was up in the grandstand and I don’t think anybody other than my wife saw me), but I do remember Dario Franchitti shaking his fist at her because he couldn’t safely find a way by her for about 3 laps. There may have been other drivers do it too, and I’m guessing that there have been other drivers that have done that at other races.

      Nobody’s claiming to be a journalist here. We’re fans. We’re passionate enough fans that we spend out money to go to events and tell our friends about the League and its wonders. Nobody is going for a Pulitzer here. On the other hand, Ms. Duno is out there on the track, playing at being a professional-grade athelete. If she can’t take criticism for how she performs on the track, then maybe she’d be more interested in running SCCA Regional races where the fan- and writer-base is far smaller.

  23. There you go Geek, another subject for a real article. How come at three events in a row, a car suffered an apparent non-contact rear suspension failure? On a chassis some of these teams have been intimately familiar with for seven years?

    Wheldon’s car was probably the new one, in its third event (Sebring test plus Brazil). Any bulletins sent out? Common failure point…shear plates perhaps, or wishbone mounting bolts?

    That’s a safety issue I’d be interested in reading about. Helio and Wheldon were pretty lucky, it only messed up Simona’s day and nothing more. Duno didn’t cause those incidents either.

    Helio had non-contact suspension failures on two ovals last year, and a third from duking it out with Kanaan.

    The blogosphere wrote about his disappointing results in the standings, and how maybe he was over the hill. Helio bull.

    Thanks to RND for adding his personal anecdote, I don’t know any of these people involved but his view of judgements made by pontificators is perfectly appropriate.

  24. Is it hot in here or is it just me? Perhaps we should review–a blog is not a newspaper article or scientific journal, it’s just one dude’s (or dudette’s) opinion. It’s up to you to read it or ignore it.

    And we comment-type folks just offer our extremely varied (yet hopefully respectful and polite) opinions about the blogger-dude’s (or dudette’s)opinion. Or sometimes other comment folks’ opinions. It’s like a bar–only without the face-to-face or alcohol. Except in Roy Hobbson’s case.

    And George does a good job because he frequently raises interesting topics. Now we return you to your regularly scheduled program…

  25. It really scares me Milka Duno has this many fans/defenders.

  26. Seems pretty face-to-face from my perspective, redd. Except for the backstabbing that goes on when you leave the room, that is.

    There’s a nice little club of backslappers forming, all taking every opportunity to parrot each other’s opinions and project each other as media voices for their fans.

    Don’t mean squat, until they get recognized enough that they can tug on the sleeve of a Series official or broadcast partner. That’s when shouting down other opinions, or deleting them, gets the balance cranked the wrong way.

    It doesn’t make me feel real comfortable every time I hear Randy Bernard mention Robbin Miller’s name. Miller has biased views and no constructive ideas. He’s just a blogger with a big audience.

    Lots of ways to look at things, right Dylan? Track safety is my biggest concern as a fan, but adding another perspective to that discussion here gets dismissed if it’s a minority opinion. Or one that takes a little more than a knee-jerk’s reaction to consider.

    I’m a fan of the Series, and all the drivers. If Barnhart parks Milka, that’s his call to make from the best vantage point to make it. There are other ways to look at the situation, which is undoubtedly why he hasn’t done it yet.

    • One other thing: you come on to somebody’s blog and call it a “hack job” (as you did in your very first paragraph up there about 5 posts ago), you should expect some fightback from people who agree with the original, central point. Step back some of your own rhetoric a few notches and you might find people more willing to interact in a rational, even-keeled tone. You want people to listen to your viewpoint? Don’t belittle the original viewpoint.

    • To come HERE, to George’s Place — the most respected & decent of all blogs — and start flamethrowing people is unconscionable. It’s like walking unannounced into Mother Teresa’s crowded shelter & bitching incessantly about how nobody’s brought you your coffee yet. Really?

      George & and his insanely knowledgable audience make IndyCar more interesting, more entertaining, and (to me, at least) more understandable. And they do it in the most painfully polite way imaginable. And this bothers you in some fashion? Really?

      [goes into pissed off Col. Jessup mode]

      I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain ourselves to a man whose sport thrives under the blanket of the very exposure we provide — and then questions the manner in which we provide it. I prefer you said “thank you” and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a WordPress account and start to post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to!!!


  27. Bent Wickerbill Says:

    This is fantastic, nice job George….

  28. […] but, it happens. As and PopOffValve found out, in there Milka articles.  Linked here and here.  Read the comments, if you take it as comedy, it’ll make your […]

  29. Andy, if you have such disdain for bloggers, why do you read blogs? I do like your term “shove another blog up,” but you never said where.

    No one claims to be a Peabody Award contender, but who knows. These guys oilpressure, speedgeek, and even Silent Pagoda are educational, entertaining, and they make me see things from a perspective that I may not have thought about before. I am a relative newbie to the sport, but I always learn something from these guys (guys used as a general term as “persons”–no sexism here). Keep it up–and yup, I think parking Milka when warranted (most of the time) is a good idea. Yes, she is personable and a good ambassador for the sport, but safety is safety. The rationale of she hasn’t killed anyone so far, doesn’t really cut it for me.

  30. To Indygrrl,

    I read most everything about IndyCar available, because I’m looking for answers. Anyone who thinks this sport thrives in the real world is indeed covered under a blanket.

    On occasion, a blog will publish an interview with someone who has a voice in the inner circle. The firsthand insight is valuable, as it is very difficult to obtain responses from Series and team principals through direct contact. In that respect, a blog is sometimes worthwhile.

    The rest is opinion, most times based on an incomplete set of facts. So I read the rhetoric, and the fan responses to it, and search with the best of my ability for the real issues and a constructive ways to affect them.

    While it’s great to read that you are a new fan, members of this little community have no influence on the millions who ignore IndyCar, and no recognition or ability for the need to change that.

    I started a blog last Thursday, pointing out that changing the airtime of the Versus LBGP rebroadcast could put it on during prime time on the West Coast, right after the NHL playoffs had ended. Fans responded 20-0 to kill the blog. The only positive response I got was from the top of IICS, who said they would look into it.

    Membership in a support group is not of much interest to me. A lot of people under the blanket believe their social media efforts are working wonders, and building momentum for IICS exposure. The extravagant “Race to the Party” event had drawn 375 worldwide viewers when I tuned in, down to 300 after 15 minutes.

    There are ways to make this work, and my conclusion is that events like that, and the blogs which report on them, are irrelevant. So I look for answers.

    Below is another one: feel free to evaluate it if you wish. As much as I’d like the support, in the long run it will only be significant if insiders who know all the facts are the ones contemplating the answers.

    And that’s the same way the “Park Milka” issue will be determined. Flame throwing by 5 or 500 people under a nomex blanket is irrelevant, even when it is misdirected at me.

    • I’ll start this off by saying that if you were to sift through the 19,000 words I’ve written in comments above, I actually agree with you on the Milka issue. She didn’t come close to hurting anybody last weekend at Long Beach and as long as that continues to be the case, I’m OK with the League parking her after a dozen or two laps. Everybody wins. If she starts to get in the way, even a little, pull her in. That’s more or less what you were saying as well.

      Secondly, I did go ahead and read all of your posts at Bleacher Report this morning, and you’ve got several good ideas. I think you’re being a little melodramatic about Indy qualifying being super-duper-extra dangerous this year (those short-timers aren’t going to get into the Fast 9 anyway), but your ideas about passing out info to fans at the track and a possible Chicagoland double header are well reasoned and I hope they get some solid consideration from the front office.

      However (and this is a big “however”), you are not going to gain any traction whatsoever, either in the IndyCar blogging community or, I suspect, in the overall IndyCar community if you continue to show the level of contempt that you’ve been showing here and elsewhere to your fellow members of this community. Like it or not, we are your peers. We are fans, just like you (that is, unless you’ve got business cards that say “IndyCar” or “IMS” on them, though from what you say that doesn’t sound like the case), and we want to see our series as healthy as it possibly can be. We are no different from you there.

      You want to ask questions of the ICONIC board, of Versus and of the upper IndyCar brass. That’s fine, but if you imply or directly tell all of us that we’re idiots for not addressing those questions instead of talking about Milka or the proposed chassis or push-to-pass or the color of Dan Wheldon’s shoes, then you will wind up marching a one-man parade down Crawfordsville Road to the Admin building. Call people idiots and they will dismiss your ideas straight out of hand, whether they’re good ones or not. Bringing up your topics is all well and good, but once you start showing contempt for your audience, you will lose them immediately.

      Look, like I said yesterday, if you want to start a muckracking campaign to find out why Dallara’s suspension pieces have been less than 100% relaible for the last 18 months (or whatever topic you select), feel free to do so. Just don’t tell us that we’re morons for not doing it ourselves. Personally, I have a full time job, a wife, an infant daughter and (here’s a shock) other interests and hobbies that take up vast chunks of my time. I have pretty much zero hours per week to mount a challenge like that and, as you do point out, I have extremely limited access to anybody within the League (though I actually do suspect that some folks there do read some of the blogs).

      If you don’t want to be part of our “support group”, then fine. There’s the door. [pointing up and to the left at your “back” button] You’re not going to miss us, and we’re certainly not going to miss you.

  31. “…muckracking campaign..”

    That’s rich.

    Thanks for the research advice. I’ll try the “blink” button instead.

  32. If you can’t handle the fact that this new technology brings us the blogger’s world that we seek then too bad for you. Go get a paper. Bloggers like George are where we are going to share AND develop opinion if we don’t have one already or are straddling a fence. As for Milka, I am 100% for her to VAMOS. In other words, go while the going is good. She can’t hack it.

  33. Yes John, effective use of new media is way over my head.

    • Quite possibly it is Andy, seeing that my post in support of the blogger was on it’s own and NOT a reply to any previous post. If it had been I would have hit the reply button such as I have done with the one below your post chastising me. BTW, I enjoyed reading your blog, carry on soldier.

  34. amazed reader Says:

    I am amazed that an even-handed, tactful blog post about Milk n Donuts is followed by THIS MANY comments. Is this a new record number of comments, George?

  35. Maybe it’s good that so many people are this fired up about the IIRS. Whatever your opinion, it seems to me that G. Phillips is a life-long open-wheel/Indy 500 fan who goes overboard to be fair and yet express an opinion. And I enjoy reading all the stuff–even MARS who is a bit puzzling but certainly passionate.

  36. I really enjoy reading Indycar blogs–you know–starting with George and Pagoda and Pressdog–but also many more. I’m pretty amazed that the biggest feedback I’ve ever seen is not about chassis or T. George or Penske or multiple engines or ride-buying or ovals vs. twisties but…

    if Milka is qualified to race in the series.

  37. Brian_Kemp Says:


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