Fernando Alonso’s quest to win the Triple Crown will have to wait until 2020 at the earliest. The 2-time World Champ was knocked out of the 2019 Indianapolis 500 Sunday afternoon by one of IndyCar’s smallest teams.
Juncos Racing and their driver Kyle Kaiser came to Indianapolis this month with a completely blank car. The #32 was all white after the team’s sponsors pulled out before the event. Team owner Ricardo Juncos remained committed to bringing this team and car to the speedway. A crash in Fast Friday practice should have killed their chances. Instead they got the car back, went to work and had it ready for Saturday morning practice.
Juncos failed to get Kaiser into the field during Saturday qualifying. Instead they had to run in the final row shootout on Sunday. Juncos racing against the likes of Schmidt-Peterson Motorsports, McLaren, Carlin, and Dreyer-Reinbold.
Not once did they look intimidated or even phased by the pressure. Kaiser climbed in the car knowing he was the last one to go and knowing exactly what he had to do.
And he did it.
Kaiser put himself into the field in 33rd place knocking out the man who many consider to be the best driver in the world, Fernando Alonso. He beat the Spaniard by a slim .02 MPH to put himself and his little team that could into the field.
For McLaren this is the most embarrassing outcome they could have. Not only did they miss the field which is massively embarrassing for team with the history of McLaren. They missed the field to one of the smallest teams in IndyCar as well.
Fernando Alonso’s body language at the end of Saturday and Sunday morning looked like pure disgust. At one point on Saturday he asked “why?” like why are we still doing this. After watching Kaiser knock him out on Sunday he hopped on his golf cart and was gone. It wasn’t the driver, it was the car and McLaren have a lot of explaining to do.
McLaren elected to do it themselves this year opting not to partner with one of IndyCar’s bigger teams. Instead they built their car in England and formed a technical alliance with Carlin. That was all fine and dandy until it wasn’t. Sunday morning McLaren formed a deal with Andretti to use their dampers and were actively asking teams for setup help. None of that matters now though as they sit on the outside.
Will McLaren attempt to buy Alonso a seat for this year’s race? They owe it to him but it’s unlikely anyone is willing to sell.
Follow us on Twitter @ApexOff