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Noted motorsports journalist Robin Miller dies

A native of Indiana, Robin Miller was a true friend to open-wheel racing. Leigh Diffey looks back on Miller's unique and distinctive style and Miller's lasting impact on the world of motorsports that he loved so dearly.

Veteran motorsports and IndyCar reporter Robin Miller died, August 25, at 71.

An Indiana native, Miller always had a special affinity for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and open-wheel racing. And in a career that spanned more than five decades, he had ample opportunity to interact with his heroes and become part of their world.

His death comes a little more than two weeks after the death of colleague Bob Jenkins, who passed August 9 after a long battle with cancer.

Miller began his journalistic career in 1968, writing for the Indy Star. After spending much of his early career writing about auto racing, Miller was also able to bring that wealth of experience to radio and television. covering the sport for ESPN, Speed Channel and most recently NBC zd[ptyd.

And while he eventually left this world, he never left the sport. Miller leant his voice to a tribute for Jenkins for that aired during NBC’s coverage of the IndyCar and NASCAR tripleheader weekend that was held on their beloved Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course.

To understand the sport better, Miller raced for a while in the 1970s and 80s. With support from some of the top names in the sport that included Larry Rice, Johnny Parsons, and Tony and Gary Bettenhausen, he was strong enough to qualify fifth for the Hut Hundred midget race at the Terre Haute Action Track. A blown engine kept him from finishing.

Coverage of that race is available on YouTube.

Miller first visited Indy in 1957 with his father, Bob. He attended his first Indy 500 two years later and worked his way through the ranks to become one of the voices most closely associated with the track.

While covering the 2019 Indy 500, Miller’s 50th edition of that race, IMS announced the creation of the Robin Miller Award, given annually to an “unheralded individual who has brought unbridled passion and an unrelenting work ethic to enrich the sport”.

“Racing has lost one of its most well-respected journalists and most beloved personalities,” said IMS and IndyCar owner Roger Penske in a release. “Robin Miller achieved his dream as his lifelong passion for motorsports led him on a path to becoming the premier reporter in open-wheel racing.

“For more than 50 years, Robin covered the sport he loved with a fierce drive, a great sense of humor and uncompromising honesty. I know that Robin was truly touched by the support he received across the motorsports community over these last few months as he battled his illness.

“As many of Robin’s friends honored him and his legacy earlier this month when he was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame during Brickyard weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it was a fitting tribute to his life’s work at the place that meant the world to him.”