Kyle Kaiser’s Indy 500 bid in doubt after airborne crash in practice

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INDIANAPOLIS — Kyle Kaiser became the fourth driver in three days to slam the wall in Indianapolis 500 practice, nearly flipping his Dallara-Chevrolet after a heavy impact Friday in Turn 3.

Kaiser was checked at the care center and cleared to drive after destroying the front and right side of his No. 32 in the crash, which happened 51 minutes into the Fast Friday practice that began at 11 a.m. ET.

“I’m fine,” Kaiser told Dillon Welch on the NBC Sports Gold broadcast. “I’m very fortunate that the technology and safety within the car has gotten as good as it has today because I felt it. So extremely grateful to be here to talk with you guys now.

“Overall, I felt like I lost it in the middle of the corner. There really wasn’t much I could do. It felt pretty good in the first opening laps. We’ll have to look at the data and see what happened. We’ll have to see what our options are, but obviously, we’ll do everything we can to qualify for this race.”

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The Juncos Racing driver was driving a blank white car after losing its primary sponsor this month.

Kyle Kaiser’s Dallara-Chevrolet goes airborne after hitting the wall along the third turn (AP Photo/Tom Pyle).

Asked by NBCSN’s Kelli Stavast about the prospects of putting Kaiser in a car for qualifying Saturday, team owner Richard Juncos said, “I don’t know at this point. It’s too recent for the situation. We know this can happen. It’s no surprise.”

Stavast later reported that Juncos Racing was moving forward with preparing the backup car amidst increasing sponsor interest for being in the May 26 race.

Friday marked the first practice in which teams were given extra boost of 30 horsepower in preparation for qualifying Saturday and Sunday.

In addition to Kaiser, Felix Rosenqvist and Fernando Alonso crashed Wednesday, and Pato O’Ward hit the wall Thursday.

Red Bull driver Verstappen wins Formula One’s Brazilian GP

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won Formula One’s Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday for his eighth career victory in a race which ended disastrously for both Ferrari drivers.

Verstappen controlled nearly all the race at Interlagos, which saw a dramatic late collision between Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc when they fought for the fourth position. Both failed to finish.

Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly got his first F1 podium after finishing second ahead of six-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes driver was third but faces an investigation after an incident that caused Red Bull’s Alexander Albon to spin.

Hamilton, who won at Interlagos in 2018, said Verstappen was “just quicker than us on the straights” and “there was nothing more we could do.”

Dutch driver Verstappen said “Lewis was very quick so I had to keep pushing… we had two good moves with him, and from there onward I could control the race.”

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was fourth, and could be promoted to third if Hamilton is punished.

The Brazilian GP on Sunday was the penultimate race of the season, with only Abu Dhabi left on Dec.1.

Hamilton had already secured the season title in the previous race in the United States. His Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who did not finish the race, had also secured the runner-up spot.