Fernando Alonso fails to qualify for Indy 500 as Kaiser takes last spot

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The final row of the Indianapolis 500 starting grid has been set and will consist of Sage Karam, James Hinchcliffe, and Kyle Kaiser. They will start next Sunday’s race in 31st, 32nd and 33rd starting positions, respectively.

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

The three drivers posted the fastest four-lap average speeds of the six drivers who made their final attempt to qualify for the 103rd running of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Patricio O’Ward, Max Chilton, and two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will have to watch the race from the other side of the catchfence.

Alonso, who had been slow all week, looked to be locked into the 33rd and final starting position after Chilton and O’Ward were not fast enough to make the field. But Kaiser, the final driver to make a qualifying attempt in the Last Row Shootout, set a four-lap average speed of 227.372 mph – just enough to take the final starting position away from Alonso and McLaren.

The motorsports world was left in utter shock. Juncos Racing, a small, part-time entry from Speedway Indiana that lost their sponsor and suffered a practice crash during the week, took down McLaren Racing, a team that has won eight Formula One Constructors’s Championships and 12 Driver’s Championships.

“I don’t think I can wrap my mind around what we just did,” Kaiser told NBC Sports after bumping Alonso from the field. “This all the credit to the team. They’ve been working non-stop trying to get this car ready for us and they did everything we that we needed to get into this field.”

Coverage of the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 begins next Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. ET on NBCSN, then moves over to NBC at 11:00 a.m. ET.

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Chip Ganassi to be honored in Petersen Museum exhibit

Joe Skibinski / IndyCar
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This Saturday, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles will debut a new exhibit honoring one of the most successful teams in American motorsports.

Titled “Chip Ganassi Racing: Fast Tracks to Success | 30th Anniversary Tribute,” the exhibit will display several significant cars, trophies, and other artifacts from CGR’s storied racing history. Ganassi will formally be honored April 15, 2020 at the Petersen’s Annual Racers Night before the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Dario Franchitti’s 2010 Dallara IR-05. Photo Kahn Media

Vehicles displayed in the exhibit will include the 1983 Patrick Wildcat MK9B raced by Chip Ganassi to his best finish in the Indianapolis 500, the Lexus-powered Riley MK X1 raced by Scott Dixon in the 2006 24 Hours of Daytona, the Dallara IR-05 driven to victory by Dario Franchitti in the 2010 Indianapolis 500, the Ford GT that finished first in the LM GTE category at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driven by Kurt Busch in the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series.

“Chip Ganassi is an influential member of the automotive community, and his team’s penchant for success is a reflection of his raw skill and passion for the sport,” said Petersen Automotive Museum Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “Complemented by a visually dynamic and compelling 180-degree video, ‘Chip Ganassi Racing’ will celebrate the team’s victories and tell its story while taking visitors on a trip down memory lane.” 

“Chip Ganassi Racing: Fast Tracks to Success | 30th Anniversary Tribute” will run through January 31, 2021. The museum will host a ticketed opening reception on December 13. More information on the Petersen Museum can be found at www.petersen.org.

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