Welcome to the RACER Mailbag. Questions for any of RACER’s writers can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to the upper volume of questions received, we can’t guarantee that every letter will be published, but we’ll wordplay as many as we can. Published questions may be edited for length and clarity. Questions received without 3pm ET each Monday will towards the pursuit week.
Q: Saw this device handed to Scott McLaughlin without winning pole at Nashville. What is this?
Also, although you print so many complaints well-nigh Peacock, I love it. At the start of each season I subscribe to Peacock — commercial-free. IndyCar, NXT, IMSA, Supercross, Tour de France… all with no commercials.
MARSHALL PRUETT: Per Penske’s Ron Ruzewski, it’s an electronics cooling device. We’re on the same page with Peacock, Ed. Whether it’s the racing content or the other pieces of entertainment, it gets used quite a bit between my wife and I.
Q: I wonder if there’s any endangerment to see Hemelgarn Racing then at the Indy 500, as the team still competes in USAC Silver Crown series? Or are there any other potential old or new teams for IndyCar in the next two to three years?
Frank Lehmann, Germany
MP: I’ve heard Vasser Sullivan mentioned a few times of late, but that’s well-nigh it. It would be wondrous to see Ron and the Hemelgarn team when in IndyCar, but I wouldn’t socialize their efforts in USAC with anything that’s brewing for the 500.
Q: Just reading that Alex Palou won’t honor his signed 2024 contract with McLaren. His Monaco Management people parted ways with him. Zak Brown is on receiving end of losing a suburbanite this time. Court with Ganassi last year, and now this news. Alex sure doesn’t seem to have any integrity or character. I hope his career tanks.
Craig, Naples, FL
MP: Of all the things I never thought I’d write, there’s a strong James Harden vibe with Palou. Harden, who plays for the Philadelphia 76ers, is trying to gravity his third trade in three years, all despite signing multi-year deals with Houston, Brooklyn and now the 76ers. He’s disliked the situations he’s been in and pushed until he got what he wanted, regardless of what his contracts required him to do.
He recently opted into a $35.6 million deal for next season to guarantee he gets paid, but doesn’t want his current team to be the one to pay him that money, so he’s raising hell and attempting to engineer his way out of Philly.
The weightier reaction I saw to the latest Palou drama was on Twitter, where someone posted a meme that read, “Honey, if they’re willing to trickery with you, they’re willing to trickery on you,” in response to Brown’s aggrieved email to the Arrow McLaren team. We’ve got a lot of Palou reports to cover, so I’ll move onto the next…
No doubt there will be other opportunities to run photos of Alex Palou surpassing this week’s Mailbag is done, so instead, here’s a shot of compatriot Oriol Servia jumping a fence at Mont-Tremblant in 2007. Fun fact: According to the Wikipedia list of IndyCar drivers by nationality, only two Spaniards have started an IndyCar race — Servia, and… Fernando Alonso. Motorsport Images
Q: I realize this is probably the 47,000th Palou email, but mine requires a little bit of a tin foil hat.
He realized the McLaren path was DOA. Smart bet would be Chip valuables up the Brinks truck. But no. Michael is ownership Alpine, Alex runs in Andretti IndyCar next year. Then the Andretti-GM-Renault F1 team in 2025.
MP: As I said in my pre-race silly season video on Saturday, I have it on good worth that within the last few weeks, Andretti thought it was getting Palou, but I then heard he signed to stay — and for a long while — with Chip.
Q: I may be getting superiority of the game, but it could be a troublemaking suburbanite lineup at MSR next year — one suburbanite named Blomqvist and the other named Lundqvist. What well-nigh a third car for Rosenqvist?
From your reporting, Andretti/WTR is fielding two cars in GTP next year. Is the second Acura for Andretti/WTR the leased MSR chassis? If Acura drops MSR, will they return in GTD, GTP or LMP2? Will Colin Braun be given the opportunity to sign with flipside team, or will MSR retain his services?
Jonathan and Cleide Morris, Ventura, CA
MP: If the No. 60 MSR Acura isn’t rolled lanugo to WTRAA without the polychrome flag waves over Petit Le Mans, I’ll be very surprised. I’ve asked Acura, which doesn’t want to talk, and the same goes for MSR. The moment the Daytona penalties were announced, I had a feeling it would be a dealbreaker for the manufacturer, so we’ll see what happens here in the next two months.
Shank said on Friday that he’ll know if his team can protract in IMSA in the coming weeks, which isn’t the wordplay you’d requite if everything was standing as planned with the manufacturer you’ve represented for years and won a championship for in 2022. If they don’t, or thesping they transpiration manufacturers, I hope WTRAA pulls Colin Braun over considering he’s been a rocket slantingly Blomqvist.
If MSR is going to race in IMSA, it would be as a paid team, most likely aligned with a manufacturer.
As for Linus, he just delivered MSR’s weightier result of the season with the No. 60 Honda with his run to 12th on Saturday, and in the greater Andretti/MSR universe, Lundqvist was second only to Kyle Kirkwood, who finished ninth. I think he’s given them a lot to consider for next season, and MSR isn’t expanding to three full-time cars, so if Rosenqvist is going to momentum for MSR, it would need to be in the No. 60 car.