It was the scariest race I have ever seen

I was at Auto Club Speedway Saturday for the MAVTV 500. I could easily write thousands of words about what I think was the scariest auto race I've ever seen. IndyCar fans got enough to debate out of this one race to fill all of the long off-season. I choose to focus on a few points:

* I talked with series CEO Mark Miles for 20 minutes before the race. You can go to my Twitter @SpinDoctor500 to read his quotes. I'll have some more of that conversation in this space in upcoming weeks.

* I think it's more likely than not that Derrick Walker has lost the confidence of the garage area. I don't know if he can regain it. The last time drivers were this concerned, only a couple of years ago, it led to major changes in the IndyCar management.

* Having been a part of the IndyCar scene since the 1970s, I can honestly say I have never experienced a more unhappy garage area than I did Saturday morning. People were a little more rested after an off-weekend. But that did nothing to brighten the mood about the scheduling, rules and every other issue under the IndyCar sun. Honestly, talking to long-time friends who still toil as crew members and in other roles made me sad.

* To those trotting out the old "any publicity is good publicity" lie, please stop embarrassing yourself. Anyone who has ever actually gotten paid to be a PR professional knows that is false. Do you really think IndyCar would benefit from the publicity of another driver fatality? Do you think that's the media exposure sponsors want?

* The multi-person race control system has been proven to be a failure and needs to be changed ASAP. The inconsistent nature of the officiating cannot be explained or tolerated. How did Graham Rahal not get a penalty following the pit incident that has been routinely penalized with at least a stop-and-go for decades? The Grassy Knoll types think it had something to do with keeping on-the-fence Honda from leaving the series.

* Scott Pruett likely is near retirement. Mr. Miles, please talk to him about becoming the new race director. But he'd only be interested if he's the sole decision-maker from the time the green flag waves until the checkered flag is displayed.

* The tiny crowd of just a couple of thousand was sad and embarrassing but not much of a story because it was so expected. That's what happens with a late June date on a Saturday afternoon in California. Trust me, the series won't be back in Fontana unless it gets a September date. Michael Knight/SpinDoctor500blog

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