Fernando Alonso Bumped From 103rd Indianapolis 500 Field; James Hinchcliffe Is In

Sage Karam And Kyle Kaiser Also Survive "Bump Day"

Scott Stiller
May 19, 2019 - 6:42 pm
Fernando Alonso Looks From Pit Lane During Indianapolis 500 Qualifying

Joe Skibinski - IndyCar Series

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Speedway, IN (93.7 The Fan) – James Hinchcliffe is in the 103rd Indianapolis 500 and two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso is out following a dramatic “Bump Day” and “Last Row Shootout” Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The Last Row Shootout saw six drivers: Arrow Schmidt Petersen Motorsports Hinchcliffe, McLaren Racing’s Alonso, Carlin Racing’s Max Chilton and Patricio O’Ward, Juncos Racing’s Kyle Kaiser and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s Sage Karam, have one chance each to fight it out for the final remaining three starting spots in the 33-car field.

Rain started falling shortly after practice began for the “Last Row Shootout” at 10:15 a.m.  The rain stopped briefly around noon and began falling again a few minutes later and didn’t stop until after 3 p.m. to add to the stress of waiting for the six drivers and five teams.

Jet dryers quickly began track drying efforts and IndyCar called all teams involved in the “Last Row Shootout” and the “Fast 9 Shootout” to be in the tech line at 4 p.m.

Hinchcliffe was the first car out and set a 4-lap average of 227.543 mph in his backup car after crashing his primary car on Saturday.

“We all know how much goes into this race and I’ve been on the other side of it last year, so my heart goes out to the guys that didn’t make it,” said Hinchcliffe, who will start 32nd.  “Man, it was close.”

Alonso missed the field by a mere .019-seconds because his 4-lap average of 227.353 mph was a tick slower than Kaiser’s 227.372 mph.

"Unfortunately, not fast enough both days," said Alonso.  "Disappointed now.  It would be nice to be in the race next Sunday.  We came here to race and challenge ourselves and we were not quick enough.  I congratulate all of the guys; they did a better job."

“I didn’t even know if we made it until I came down pit road,” said Kaiser, who totaled the primary car in practice crash earlier in the week and will start 33rd.

Juncos’ team spent 48-straight hours working on their back-up car to get it ready for this weekend.

“We are happy that we are in,” said team owner Ricardo Juncos, who also had to overcome a sponsor backing out earlier this month.

Rumors immediately began swirling around Gasoline Alley that McLaren might try to buy a spot to get Alonso into the field, but Juncos said his car and spot is not for sale.

“We’re going racing next weekend,” said Juncos.

Karam was the third driver out and went faster than Hinchcliffe with a 4-lap average of 227.740 in the No. 24 Wix Filters Chevrolet.

“I never want to go through this again,” said Karam, who will start 31st.  “It’s not a good feeling.”

O’Ward (227.092) and Chilton (226.192) also failed to qualify for The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

Teams will get a chance to practice on Monday for two hours before returning to the track on Friday for Carb Day’s practice and pit stop competition.

The 103rd Indianapolis 500 takes place next Sunday, May 19, 2019.

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