Fernando Alonso fails to secure Indianapolis 500 spot on first day

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INDIANAPOLIS — Fernando Alonso currently is outside the field for his second Indianapolis 500 after being bumped by J.R. Hildebrand during the final 10 minutes of Saturday’s qualifying session

The two-time Formula One champion posted an average of 227.224 mph on his fourth attempt, which had been good enough for 29th. But his lap slid out of the top 30 qualifying spots over the final 30 minutes.

“We didn’t have the speed, and I hope Sunday, we have another chance to be in the race,” Alonso told NBCSN’s Kelli Stavast after the qualifying session ended at 5:50 p.m. ET. “If we don’t get it, it’s because we don’t deserve it.”

Alonso’s car is among the six outside the top 30 that will battle it out Sunday for the final three spots in the 103rd running of the Indy 500.

THE 103RD INDIANAPOLIS 500: Click here for how to watch, full daily schedules

After a disastrously slow first attempt, Alonso went to 30th of 36 drivers attempting to make the 33-car field after his attempt at 4:15 p.m.

But 15 minutes later, Pato O’Ward bumped Alonso from the top 30. Alonso quickly made another attempt, but it wasn’t fast enough for the top 30.

The first round of qualifying ends at 5:50 p.m. ET, and the top 30 will be locked into the race.

Alonso’s No. 66 McLaren Racing Chevrolet went fastest on its third attempt after lagging on its first and waving off the second.

The Spaniard is in a backup car after crashing Wednesday in practice.

Indy Lights: Askew clinches 2019 title while VeeKay wins Laguna Seca race 1

Indy Lights
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MONTEREY, Calif – Rinus VeeKay may have won the first race of the weekend’s Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Saturday afternoon, but all all eyes post-race were all on the driver who finished the race in the fourth position.

That driver was Oliver Askew, who by simply starting the 30-lap event at the famed road course won the 2019 series title, along with the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series scholarship that guarantees a minimum of three races next season.

“It’s all sinking in,” Askew told NBC Sports following the race. “I’m really happy to be part of this team. They’re back to back champions now in Indy Lights, and I feel very fortunate to be driving in this car this year.

“This is what we worked for all year. I’m very happy to be in this position and I can’t wait to celebrate with my team.”

With the championship in Askew’s possession from the get-go, the best VeeKay could do for in race 1 was to win in dominant fashion. He went on to do just so.

After starting the race from the pole position, VeeKay led every lap from start to finish en route to his fifth victory of the season.

“We managed the car well and kept the car consistent throughout the whole race,” VeeKay said. “I got a great car from the team so I want to give a big shout out to them for giving me a winning car.”

Behind VeeKay, Portland race 2 winner Toby Sowery finished the race in the second position, while Robert Megennis finished third.

Live streaming coverage of race two of the Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca begins tomorrow afternoon at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold.

Click here for full race results

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