Indy 500 Preview: Hasta La Vista, Alonso!

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A soggy, disjointed weekend of qualifying for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing sent one of F1’s biggest stars packing after he failed to produce the speed needed to make the show.

Fernando Alonso and his McLaren team suffered devastating disappointment, unable to qualify for the world’s greatest race after lots of hype and hoopla. This shocking development came despite his team receiving last minute help from both Andretti Autosport and Team Penske, heavyweights of the sport. To Alonso’s undying credit though he handled the blow well, even refusing an offer from McLaren to buy him a ride for the 500. Every crisis presents opportunities however, and young American drivers Kyle Kaiser and Sage Karam seized them in Sunday’s final session, setting the last row and sealing Alonso’s fickle fate.

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Simon Pagenaud put Penske’s Chevy powered day glow Menard’s car on pole by the slightest of margins, but he didn’t detract from Ed Carpenter Racing’s efforts in taking three of the top four starting positions for Sunday’s race. Spencer Pigot turned in the top speed Saturday, but due to the current contrived, overly complex rules the fastest nine had to come back out Sunday to do it all again. Pigot will start beside his owner Ed Carpenter on the outside of row 1, while their teammate Ed Jones starts on the inside of row 2.

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James Hinchcliffe had his obligatory wall contact during Saturday’s session, forcing the crew to prepare the backup car and resulting in a last row start following another, final shot on Sunday. Fortunately the Canuck was unharmed, escaping the serious injuries he sustained in a similar crash a few years ago. We can’t help but wonder how many cars Hinch will be allowed to destroy before changes are made to the Schmidt Peterson Motorsport lineup.

Nineteen year old rookie phenom Colton “Joaquin” Herta continued his impressive inaugural showing at the Speedway, putting his Harding Steinbrenner Racing machine fifth fastest and placing as top Honda in quals. His was the only Honda in the top five, making the upstart American’s initial campaign all the more memorable. The Hollywood doppleganger and driver will be one to watch this weekend and indeed all season long.













1 thought on “Indy 500 Preview: Hasta La Vista, Alonso!

  1. Pingback: Indy 500 Predictions and Prognostications: Emotional Edition | Indy Race Reviewer: Fast and Funniness

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