The iconic American motorsport journalist Robin Miller has died at the age of 71. For more than 50 years, the famously frank Indiana native, who died of cancer Friday night, was a presence in motor sport print, internet, and television broadcasts.
Robin Miller, a legendary motorsport journalist, has died
Miller began his motorsport career at the age of 18 working on the pit crew and non-mechanical jobs for one of his idols, Indycar driver Jim Hurtubise, but was fired after accidentally destroying his employer’s racing car paint job. A month later, Miller started working for The Indianapolis Star newspaper, first in the sports section, where he was entrusted with answering phones. When the newspaper required someone to cover the local Indiana Pacers basketball team, he received his first writing job. Miller built a name for himself as an outspoken scribe in this job before shifting his talents to motor racing coverage. He went on to work for ESPN, SPEED, and NBC, eventually becoming a well-known television personality. Miller opted to put on the crash helmet himself in the 1970s and raced a midget car on the Midwestern race circuit. Miller had his fair share of misfortunes, including purchasing a trailer that was too thin for his car, forgetting to wear his seat belts before starting a race, and entirely damaging his car after spinning it into a concrete wall on another occasion. In his broadcasting career, Miller wasn’t afraid to share these embarrassing experiences, yet he still managed to talk with knowledge on the subject.
On the other side of the barrier, Miller made a name for himself in motor sport media, with his unwavering work ethic and ability to tell it like it is setting him apart from his contemporaries. Because of his outspokenness, he was fired from The Star after 33 years for criticizing the Indy Racing League and its President Tony George, and Champ Car then revoked his media credentials after predicting the series’ downfall. His fame grew as a result of his honesty in writing and on-screen performances. Miller also contributed to Sports Illustrated, Car and Driver, Autoweek, RACER, and Motor Sport, which became so popular that he became more well-known than many of the drivers he covered. A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al and Bobby Unser, Parnelli Jones, and Dario Franchitti were among his close friends because of his presence in the pit lane. In a recent homage, Foyt told Preston Lerner, “We came to be extremely good friends through the years because we appreciate each other.” “At first, I didn’t like what Robin wrote, as did a number of other people. But after a while, I realized that he was right about 99 percent of the time. I’m not sure where he gets all of the information he does. He had a talent for figuring things out or guessing them out, and when he did, he was generally correct.”
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