Another glass of Milka

Posted by Iannucci | 4/23/2009 | 40 comments »
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Part of me just wants to slap my forehead, wondering what in the WORLD is going on here. Milka Duno, the veritable punchline who in her IndyCar career has never finished higher than 11th, will soon be resuming her on-track masochism by returning to Dreyer & Reinbold racing this weekend in Kansas.

It's true.

But another part of me - probably that part in my youth I hit on the steel beam, requiring a dozen stitches - is intrigued, and not because she led more laps than any other woman in the IndyCar series last year. Granted that I don't have to try to drive around her during races, but I've always thought if there was any shot that Milka Duno could somehow become a driver with a chance at winning (although thusfar it appears she has about as much of a chance at winning an IndyCar race as my dog does), a media savvy and fan friendly woman like couldn't could a tremendous asset to the league.

Of course, I'll probably never know, because the consensus considers her currently more of a liability than an asset. I, however, won't pile on, because if nothing else Milkalicious has taken very little proficiency and translated it into some of the highest quality entertainment of the last few years.

Like the time Ashley Judd famously called out Milka (and the IHJ for not parking her) after her husband won the 2007 championship. Or the YouTube favorite where Danica Patrick had her face mistaken for a towel hamper, uttering the immortal zinger "It's not my fault that you're slow." Or even when Jack Arute compared Duno to both Charo and a chihuahua, engulfing his budding career as a blogger in flaming emails.

Maybe she's a moving chicane that's better off racing in computer-generated movies, but as someone who writes about the IndyCar series I have to tacitly acknowledge that Milka is a bottomless well of material. She's easy on the eyes, difficult on the ears, and has her own mascot. And for those things - which I fully admit are all the wrong reasons - I'll always be interested in her driving.

40 comments

  1. SS Minnow // April 23, 2009 9:17 PM  

    I'll pile on....
    She flat out sucks. I'd rather have Ted Kennedy drive my car.

    Amazing what money can buy these days.

  2. Anonymous // April 23, 2009 9:59 PM  

    This is what pisses me off about racing!! Milka in a car and Will is not! Makes no flippin' sense!

    (Ok. I must needs not take this out on my keyboard.)

  3. AZZO45 // April 23, 2009 10:11 PM  

    OH $h*tt.... WHY? WHY?? WHY???

    The IRL should raise her license fee.... Its states that CITGO has to pay for Milk 'N Donut's license & $$$ to Roger Penske to run Will Power in a 3rd Penske car

    Since Marty Roth has been benched... can we give Duno his "Mad Dog" nickname??? MILK' N DONUTS is a tad long... but CHARO is appropriate too (especially after interviews)

  4. Tony Solorzano // April 24, 2009 1:43 AM  

    Unbelievable, all of the vitriol aimed at My girl Milka is coming from the same crowd that was doing the same to the Gidget before she won at Motegi.

    I've sat down and talked with Milka, and here's a newsflash, she KNOWS what she's doing. Or do her many championships in Rally car mean nothing to you Philistines?

    Maybe if she wasn't treated like an afterthought Like Philip Anschutz does with the L.A. Kings and had the same kind of support little Napoleana gets, then maybe she'd have better finishes, or even a win or two. I guarantee if she had the setup that Dario's ride had in Long Beach, she'd be challenging for a spot on the podium. I doubt you could say the same for "Miss Go-Daddy."

    Hell, I'd put my money on her anytime in a one on one IROC Race with "All mouth, No patience" any day of the week.

    Of course, I wonder if all of this anger towards Milka would still be happening if she looked like Sarah Fisher instead of Eva Mendez. Yeah I went there...

    (In case you're not getting it, all of those digs were at the "talented" Mrs. Hospenthal.)

  5. pressdog // April 24, 2009 4:57 AM  

    Let's give Milka credit for telling Daniker "Go away. We don't want your show" in the famous show down. Awesome. The system is, if you got a sponsor and don't drive like a blogger, you're in. I don't buy that Milka is a menace to others, especially on an oval, where she's become good at moving over. She got her ride within the system, so I'm not all freaked about it. If it was my money, I'd give it to Sarah Fisher or hire Will Power, but, ah, it's not my money. Don't hate the playah, hate the game.

  6. will-isitmayyet.com // April 24, 2009 5:10 AM  

    I just don't see Milka in a car as a big deal, let alone a bad thing.

    She's good with the fans. She's no different than MANY before her. Ride buying at the back of the pack isn't something that just magically started in the last few years with low car counts.

    On the topic of ride buying, two of the other D&R rides at Indianapolis were purchased as well, and Kingdom Racing raises just as many philosophical debates as CITGO.

    She's apparently incredible with the fans, and that's a good thing. I just don't see why having her in a car is such a bad thing.

    It's not Danica's fault she's slow.

  7. Robert // April 24, 2009 5:33 AM  

    Personally, anything to piss off Ashley Judd is okay in my book!

  8. The SpeedGeek // April 24, 2009 6:21 AM  

    Hmmm. Forgive me for wandering on topic a bit here, everybody, but I'm intrigued.

    Mr. Soloranzo: "Championships in Rally car"? I've been following Milka at least in passing since about 1999, when I saw her running in Barber Dodge at Mid-Ohio. I've literally never heard the words "Milka" and "rally" in the same sentence before right now. Could you expand on that? As far as I'm concerned, the book is never closed on somebody, as long as there are new facts that come in (I think we all learned that during the Helio trial, at least). I mean, if she has some credentials in the past that I'm unaware of that hint toward her somewhat undisplayed-in-the-IRL talent, I'd like to hear about it. I'm actually being 100% serious right now.

    For the record, I'm not one of the people who are completely freaked out about her being in the League. Much like Pressdog, I think she's mostly proved that she can at least get out of the way, when the situation merits it, and as far as I'm concerned, if it's a choice between Milka coming to the track, or that car sitting back in the shop with no driver, I'll probably take Milka.

  9. Marco Cheever // April 24, 2009 7:00 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  10. Marco Cheever // April 24, 2009 7:03 AM  

    well said will.
    gentlemen drivers, lady racers and ride buyers are as old as Umbrella Mike

  11. reddcarr // April 24, 2009 8:07 AM  

    if she is really so bad that she is a danger to other drivers, then they shouldn't allow her to participate.

    otherwise, she brings another driver to a series that needs drivers, and another car and another sponsor and a fan base and a certain amount of publicity...and she's hot.

    so why not?

  12. AZZO45 // April 24, 2009 9:56 AM  

    Tony... comparing Danica to your girl, Ms. Hoochy-Coo is beyond brain dead. You don't have enough $$$ to win her love Tony... her extremely RICH husband has that covered. Please stop the love-fest.

    Look at the people Danica has raced with... its a laundry list of drivers most of us would know & recognize!!!

    I'm with SpeedGeek... I recall her Barber Dodge midpack adventures (the equivalent to your IROC challenge...) I recall her sucking in the Chamberlain Viper GTS-R... I recall her piting her CITGO Crawford running 14-15th & watching ANDY WALLACE wheel the car to 1st place. Her Indy record is well documented.

    As for your claim .. if Charro had Dario's set up @ LBGP she'd have kicked a$$... :) :) :) :) :) Yeah, & if Grandma had balls she'd be GRANDPA!!! Why did Newman Haas Lanigan PASS then Tony??? Carl Haas loves $$$ & he wouldn't take your girls dough!!!

    PressDog: I seem to remember Milk 'N Donuts way off the pace @ Mid Ohio & treating it like a race... when it was PRACTICE (in my best Allen Iverson voice). Danica did what 3/4th of the IRL field wanted to do... have it out with that b*tch!!! I also recall hearing Charo after the towel throwing... could NOT see her as she hid behind her D&R crew

    One last thing to Mr. Solozano & the rally claim... I had an old boss that bought top flight GT1 cars & beat 2 others in SCCA regionals... then bragged about his numerous race wins. When we invited him out for lapping days in our shifter karts...

    ...Mr Race Winner's times were not so great. Ranked 5th of 8 karts & 2 of the 4 were good drivers but new to karts or track events. Who did she beat in these rallies???

  13. The American Mutt // April 24, 2009 10:04 AM  

    The strangest part of the whole towel throwing thing to me is that here's Milka repeatedly throwing a towel in her face, but then Milkas crewman acts like Danica got all out of line for using the Eff word.

    Personally I'm looking forward to the side by side action of Milka and Barret.

  14. Jeff-O // April 24, 2009 10:16 AM  

    Hey Tony Solorzano:

    How does the Milka Duno Kool-Aid taste? Funny, Milky's own WEBSITE calls her "The Fastest Girl in the ALMS". Liz Holiday would sure disagree.

    Her site also mentions NOTHING of this rally experience you claim. Also drops the Barber Dodge season of her online resume!

    AZZO is right. Duno has "won" & had victories on her racing resume do to BUYING fast teammates. Andy Wallace in GA. Scott Maxwell & others in the P675 class (now P2) winning efforts.

    Oh & BTW, If Milka looked like Eva Mendez she'd challenge Danica to Si & other swimsuit layouts, BUT she would still suck as a driver.

    Yes, ride buying has been a motorsports staple for decades. Doesn't make it right & continues because of apologist like you that defend the practice. Its a PRO series. If you want to play race car driver thats why there is the SCCA & other club events, or private track rentals

  15. AZZO45 // April 24, 2009 10:24 AM  

    I'm with you Mutt!!! So much for another one of Tony's claims that current Milka bashers were FORMER DANICA Haters!!!

    I like Danica & do NOT care for Milky... ON TRACK. I'm sure they are both nice ladies off track.

    My niece convinced her parents to let her race karts... she used Danica as her case builder. I also took her to a Danica autograph session at a Meijer a few years back. Danica was as sweet as apple pie to her & cheered on her racing dreams too.

  16. Robert // April 24, 2009 11:02 AM  

    A Quick story about Milka, back a few years, in my previous career, I sold Milka her first race suit when she was in BarberDodge and Vic Elford was her driver coach and he said she is too smart to be a racer, she needs to shut up on the radio and drive. To this day I hear the same thinng again and again about her, she is too worried about changing the car rather than driving it- and if she ever settled in she would be totally unbeatable. If she ever got a great IRL car under her- I would bet the house she would win. Just my view, say what you want.

  17. Anonymous // April 24, 2009 11:19 AM  

    Robert: Haas- Lanigan (lets leave Paul's name out of this) PASSED on her for a reason. Sorry if I trust their opinion over yours

    Milka & "great" will never go together. Old "great" drivers won when they were young & she didn't come close.

    A reason for her incomplete website resume is it would leave a paper trail to her actual age(she is older than she claims). I'm waiting for her to get busted like select South American MLB players (on the wrong age on gov. documents)

  18. Bob Mc // April 24, 2009 11:49 AM  

    I saw Speed Racer last night. She didn't that finish that race, either. At least it was an accurate portrayal.

  19. Leigh O'Gorman // April 24, 2009 1:31 PM  

    Hope no one minds me hijacking this post - there are more and more rumours going on about Sebastien Bourdais might be dropped from F1 if his performances don't pick up - thoughts on him ending up in a split seat with Milka?

  20. The SpeedGeek // April 24, 2009 2:34 PM  

    Robert,
    I think there are roughly five dozen drivers in America who would make the same claim: if I only drove for Penske, I'd be champion. In fact, I think I'll make the same claim myself right now. I think it just stands to reason that she's competed in a few dozen solo (i.e. no co-driver) races outside of Venezuela, and as yet to my knowledge, has not won any. I'm waiting for evidence to the contrary on that.

    Leigh,
    Seabass'll never come back to the US to drive for anybody but Penske, Ganassi or Carl Haas. No other team would allow him to be as consistently competetive as he'd want. Were he to drive for any other team and look slow, it would only tarnish his rep.

  21. dylan // April 24, 2009 6:37 PM  

    I will NEVER support Milka Duno in any race car, until i see some improvement. One thought I had though, was do you think IRL drivers should be able to also run Indy lights races? That is one of the most debated stock car policies. However, drivers like Danica, Marco, Milka, Ed, Aj4, Ralf, Mike Conway, and a few others might really benifit from it. Mabye, just mabye, Milka could do something with her money then.

  22. Anonymous // April 24, 2009 7:30 PM  

    Can't wait to see if Milka or Stanton Barrett make the bigger butts of themselves. As long as they take out Dario, I guess it doesn't matter.

  23. AZZO45 // April 24, 2009 9:45 PM  

    dylan: Google is your friend!!! These drivers: "Ed, Aj4, Ralf"??? AJ Foyt IV was an Indy Pro Series(the old name for Indy Lights) CHAMPION!!!!!!

    "Ed"? Would that be Ed Carpenter? He drove for TWO Indy Pro series teams & was a race winner.

    WTF is "Ralf" Do you mean Raphael Matos ? "Rafa". Matos is the current Indy Lights CHAMPION!!! This championship has friends in his trophy case... The Atlantic, Star Mazda & Barber Dodge CHAMPIONSHIPS!

    Do you really think "Ralf" needs to revisit the Lights series for more "training"... REALLY???

    You really think Danica & Marco need Indy Lights seat time? Both race winners & BTW young Marco has Indy Lights wins on his resume too!!! We all know Danica's record & I saw her running 2nd @ LBGP (finishing 4th). How would Lights help her?

  24. dylan // April 25, 2009 5:34 AM  

    I didn't watch indy pro racing, so i am sorry for not being more clear. What I meant was drivers who may need more seat time, particularly on road course for some or ovals for the Champ Car drivers, could benifit. Marco does A1GP, but still struggles on Road courses, so i don't know how much help it would be. However, the new Indy Lights has a lot more road course racing than before, and mabye that would do Danica and Aj and Ed Carpenter some good, because Danica does stuggle on right turns,just watch Surfers Paridise. I forgot about Ralf Matos's championships,I was probably thinking or Mike Conway or Mario Mories, the KV racing driver.

  25. Anonymous // April 25, 2009 6:39 AM  

    I agree with Dylan and think that Justin Wilson, Will Power, Mario Moraes, Graham Rahal and all the other drivers that struggle on ovals should be sent to Indy Lights for practice.

  26. Iannucci // April 25, 2009 7:01 AM  

    The only reason to send Rafa Matos back to Indy Lights is to convince him that he should be called "Ralf". Even better, in an homage to "A Christmas Story", he should consider going by "Ralphie".

    Excellent suggestion, dylan.

  27. Sean // April 25, 2009 8:17 AM  

    Oval races in the IRL are essentially decided by car, week after week (that makes them way more boring than they should be because of the lack of anybody challenging the Big Three). None of the ex-Champ Car drivers were entered in premier cars (NHL should probably return in a couple years, but not yet). It should not be surprising that they don't run that well on the ovals. People talked about how miserable Ryan Briscoe was on the ovals in 2005 when he along with both of his Ganassi teammates were crashing a lot due to overdriving their inferior cars. Now look.

    Bourdais wouldn't return unless he was hired by Penske, Ganassi, AGR, or NHL. I think he'd drive AGR equipment, but I don't think Mikey would hire him...

    Barrett will I think be worse because Duno has two years of partial experience now, and she is driving the better car.

  28. The American Mutt // April 25, 2009 10:43 AM  

    Dylan,

    Does Marco struggle that much on the roads? He finished sixth at Long Beach, and had he not been repeatedly (through no fault of his own) been crashed at St Pete, he'd probably have had a top eight. my question is, is he that bad, or is AGR just struggling with setups at the roads right now?

  29. AZZO45 // April 25, 2009 10:54 AM  

    Sean: Can we really call Ganassi equipment "INFERIOR" ??? The Panoz/ G-Force was a good RC car & the 2005 Ryan Briscoe was like a pinball hitting EVERY "bumper" he could (RC or oval)!!!

  30. AZZO45 // April 25, 2009 10:58 AM  

    Oh & dylan... Most of Marco Andretti's Indy PS (Lights) victories came on ROAD COURSES!!! You also mentioned A1GP

    So a return to Lights???.... NAH!!!

  31. Sean // April 25, 2009 12:24 PM  

    Ganassi equipment is generally never inferior, but in 2005 it was, as Toyota was really, really bad relative to Honda. Note that Scott Dixon finished thirteenth in points with ONE top five finish (his win in the rain at Watkins Glen). Briscoe wasn't really any less impressive than Dixon that year with some strong runs on the road/street courses, and he was just as lost on the ovals as Dixon and Manning, because Toyota horsepower was behind on the ovals. Penske was okay with the Toyotas, true, but neither Penske nor Ganassi was anywhere near as strong as they were in 2006 when they both changed to Honda.

  32. Sean // April 25, 2009 12:28 PM  

    Okay, Briscoe did crash a bit more than Dixon, but he was a true rookie. I think if Ganassi had kept him for 2006, he would have had a similar year to how he did with Penske last year...

  33. Sarah Fan // April 25, 2009 2:20 PM  

    To get this back to the original topic - my congrats to Milka for a good qualifying effort, and a very understandable (by way of accent)and enthusiastic interview afterward.

    I would say great job Sarah, too, but I don't want to perpetuate the hijack.

  34. Billy Coy // April 25, 2009 4:00 PM  

    hey guys Milka out qualified your tuff guys !!!

  35. Jeff-O // April 25, 2009 5:05 PM  

    Drop her to 14th after Blowhard's executive decision. Most of the runners behind Milky had technical issues IMO. Lets see if race day is her usual 5-10 MPH off the pace & lapped in 12.

    You & I could run Kansas at 208~ Its that last two MPH that makes you a racer & not a rent-a- driver

  36. Anonymous // April 26, 2009 10:40 AM  

    For anyone that is truly interested in seeing Ms Duno's actual racing and otherwise accoplishments. Please check out Wiki at.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milka_Duno

  37. Anonymous // April 26, 2009 1:13 PM  

    Why would we want to rely on Wiki-crap-ia over Milka's own WEBSITE?

  38. Anonymous // April 26, 2009 11:29 PM  

    Ask D&R's Mike Conway what he thinks of his CITGO sponsored "teammate"! Laps down & he has to junk his race to avoid her.

    I'm sure that YouTube s#it will make him happier

  39. AZZO45 // April 27, 2009 8:33 AM  

    Hey Tony... hope you defend your stick & ball knowledge better than your limited racing stats. A number of people called out your claims...

    ... are you too gutless to defend yourself (or did you turn into Mr. Anonymous & post that YouTube link)?

    LAME

  40. Steve Simpson // April 28, 2009 6:35 AM  

    I was really excited to see Milka come to the series a couple years ago. However, she quickly proved to be a "back of the packer". Worse yet, she continues to run so slow that she poses a danger to the other drivers. I sat at Kansas Sunday, wondering how and why she was left on the track. She was consistently off the pace, and creating tough spots for the front runners to have to get around.

    It's one thing to try, try and try again. Drivers have to earn their stripes sometimes by running at the back due to lack of experience, lack of funds for car development, etc. But you expect to see drivers progress. Milka has NOT progressed. In fact, her driving leads me to believe that she's terrified to be out there.

    Chalk up the IndyCar experience, Milka, but find a series where you're better suited to showing your talents. Co-drive in ALMS or Rolex, maybe.