As you have no doubt read over the last few weeks, reporters like Robin Miller and John Oreovicz have gone on record as saying Milka Duno has no business racing an IndyCar. For the most part they make valid points since she has pretty much bupkus experience racing on ovals no time whatsoever racing in excess of 200 MPH, but the troubling part of their arguments is always reading about "unnamed drivers" not wanting her in the league.
Seriously, if you're a driver and you're going to offer an opinion then go ahead and have your name attributed. If you don't it looks like these reporters are just making stuff up. If you truly think life and death are at stake by allowing the Milkalicious one to race in the ICS then by all means chime in and express your concern. Trust me: we will all think more of you.
And so it goes in a recent article in the new copy of ESPN magazine that arrived in my mailbox. A big splashy article on page 110 about Milka and unnamed drivers being down on Duno. But this article was different because one driver actually had their name attributed, and that driver came out in favor of Duno.
Nearly to a man, IndyCar drivers and crew members (none willing to go on record) say they fear Milka's inexperience makes her a danger to herself and everyone on the track.That's one driver OK with Duno, and against we have...hello?
Sarah Fisher disagrees. The youngest woman ever to start an Indy 500 isn't a bit worried. "With the right leadership," Fisher says, "Milka will be a great addition to our series." Fisher is confident the newcomer will be well coached, especially with hands-on help from Al Unser Sr. and Johnny Rutherford during rookie testing. "Al Senior and JR will do great work with Milka, like they did with me. Oh, she'll learn a lot."
UPDATE: Milkalicious finally got behind the wheel and turned about 140 laps at Kansas Speedway today.
"I didn't realize how different this was going to be, but I just cut to the chase," Duno said. "I'm still learning, of course -- this was my first test -- but I am a fast learner, also. This is an advantage, to adjust quickly to changes and take the opportunities you have."Didn't realize different this was going to be? Just listen to the collective groan all across this great land right now from everyone reading that.
The biggest change, she said, is adjusting to the high speeds involved in open-wheel racing on ovals.
"You're going over 200 all the time," she said. "When you feel the car starting to slide a little bit, not to have nerves but to control the situation -- that's something very tough."
During her big announcement in Homestead league officals mentioned the possiblity of having another car on the track with her to simulate racing conditions. While most folks thought "yeah, right", it turns out one current driver was actually scheduled to help earlier this week. Thank you very much, Darren Manning.