* 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.
POWER PLAYERS for the week of June 28: This week's 10 most influential people in the Business and Politics of Motorsports, as selected by long-time journalist/publicist and industry insider Michael Knight.
3. Derrick Walker -- No one in motorsports is more under-the-gun right now than IndyCar's competition president. Drivers say he didn't act on their pre-MAVTV 500 concerns about pack racing and safety given the aero rules IndyCar dictated. And then there's the whole issue of inconsistent officiating.
4. Kyle Busch -- His win -- on a road course, no less -- is nothing less than inspirational and should earn the praise of the national media.
5. Graham Rahal -- Media-friendly second-generation driver wins what was perhaps the scariest IndyCar race ever run. No other driver can explain it better to the national media.
6. Brett Frood -- Stewart-Haas Racing executive VP says he's "confident" in signing a new sponsor for Danica Patrick and re-signing her to stay with the team.
9. Tony Kanaan -- The most vocal of the IndyCar drivers post-Fontana. His voice carries the weight of being an Indy 500 winner and series champion.
10. Joie Chitwood -- Daytona International Speedway president works through the facility hassles of the last big racing weekend before "re-imagining" construction is scheduled for completion.
[ more next week . . . ]