Miller down on Duno

Posted by Iannucci | 3/27/2007 | 3 comments »
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This is going to come as a shock, but the Robin Miller has a problem with something - or rather someone - in the Indy Racing League. Hard to believe. Yes friends, not only is he greeting Milka Duno and her recent IndyCar announcement with skepticism, he's pretty much saying she should be out of a job.

...the thought of Milka Duno driving an Indy car next month in Kansas City is frightening.

The reality is that she's not very good and not very well regarded by her sports car brethren.

This is one of those situations that the racing fraternity embraces publicly, but privately knows is a recipe for disaster.
On the one hand I'll at least give him credit for saying he thinks she's unfit to drive, even though he can't identify anyone else who agrees with him. I've always thought it was annoying that people spoke of Paul Dana's poor driving after his death. If you think someone is unsafe then state your case before something happens, not after. (And I've beaten the Dana discussion to, umm, death. Sorry.)

On the other hand this is incredibly ironic. Isn't this the same guy who constantly complains that Tony George had him fired from the Indianapolis Star? Now he's out campaigning against Duno in her employment quests. Oh, how rich.

Here's the deal with Miller and why he's such an easy target: this guy is known for going off half-cocked at anything without actually paying attention to what he's saying. Check these three consecutive paragraphs.

Barnhart also said she's going to have to pass a driving test under the critical eyes of Rick Mears or Johnny Rutherford or Al Unser. So, obviously, there's no guarantee she'll make the grade, although there was a dentist of similar ilk who became an IRL regular in the cars way too easy to drive on the huge high banked tracks.

Hopefully, Duno will scare herself so badly in her first test at Texas that she'll come to her senses, realize she's out of her depth and give the car to Carpentier.

Because Indy cars aren't fun and games and photo ops. They can be life and death. And having desire, a pretty smile, a good PR machine and a sponsor aren't good enough reasons to merit a ride.
Dude, which is it? Too easy to drive, or not fun and games? This doesn't make any sense. Then again the fact that I keep reading what Miller says doesn't make any sense. And maybe the fact I keep writing about what he says does make any sense.

Ugh, my this makes my head hurt.

Look, if Milkalicious looks unsafe in her first race or during her testing then by all means call it as you see it, but at least give her and the rest of those evaluating her talents (stop snickering, boys) the benefit of the doubt until she actually gets in the car. This premature judgement is silly because this is the reason they have the Rookie Orientation Program in place - to find out if a prospective driver can competently drive.

I'm pretty certain Brian Barnhart and others are excited to have Duno in the league, but I'm also fairly confident they don't want to risk her taking out someone else if it looks obvious that she has no business driving at Kansas.


  1. Johnny // March 28, 2007 4:21 AM  

    Jeff, far be it from me to divine exactly what Miller is saying (ever) but I think what he may have meant here is that it's easy to test on the high banked ovals and get your license but that a full on race is a completely different experience. And Miller didn't say not to give her any chance either, just that it may be wiser to let her try a road course, which she supposedly "specializes" in first.

  2. Jennifer Coomer // March 28, 2007 12:03 PM  

    Oh my goodness, she does look like Charo! Hilarious. You're so witty. ;-)

  3. Iannucci // March 28, 2007 12:08 PM  

    Very funny. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Jennifer and another reader for pointing out Duno's resemblance to Charo.

    Audience participation is always encouraged. As my daughter likes to sing "We're all in this together"...but you're going to be making those "cuchi cuchi" comments on your own.