INDIANAPOLIS – For the Indianapolis 500 one-offs, it was a day of anxiety on Fast Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Kyle Kaiser destroyed his Juncos Racing Chevrolet and that sent the team scrambling to prepare a backup for the unsponsored team.
“I’m feeling fine right now,” Kaiser said after he was checked and released from the IU Health Infield Care Center. “Obviously, just very disappointed. Hoping we’ll be able to analyze the damage and see what can be salvaged and what we can do for qualifying. I want to be in the race more than anything.
“Like I said, we’ll have to be back and see what the options are right now. I’m extremely proud of what the team has done the whole week. I think this shouldn’t take away from what we’ve accomplished. I think we can keep pushing and we’ll find a way.”
Car parts from Dallara were rushed over to Gasoline Alley late in the Friday practice session in the flatbed of a pickup truck.
“We are very grateful that our driver Kyle (Kaiser) was not injured and safely walked away from the massive hit he experienced today at IMS,” said Team Owner Ricardo Juncos. “As everyone knows this has been a very intense month for our NTT IndyCar Series program. Despite off track setbacks, that has not stopped this team from going out and performing during practice this week.
“We have been up to the top-five in no tow speeds and have consistently improved our times each day. Now we are faced with the challenge of getting our back-up car on track and set for qualifying tomorrow, but I am completely confident in this amazing group we have here at Juncos Racing to make it happen. This group will not stop working until we get our No. 32 back on track. We want to thank all of the teams who are willing to help out with parts, Chevrolet, and the fans who have stopped by to express their well wishes.
“We will be working hard all day and night.”
The drivers who have the most to worry about are in positions 30-35 on the no tow list. Those are drivers with one-lap speeds that are not being aided by a draft or two from another car either 10 seconds in front or 10 seconds behind another car.
Of those drivers, Fernando Alonso of McLaren was 30th at 226.869 mph in the No. 66 Chevrolet. It was his first full day of action since he arrived at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to begin preparations for the Indianapolis 500.
“It was a positive day for us, and we were able to put the car on track and try different directions on the setup and learn a little bit about the track and the day,” Alonso said. “Obviously, the (turbo) boost was up today, so the speeds were higher, and it was more a qually (qualifying) preparation than race setups.
“We had a lot of new tires from the last couple of days. So, we were able to do a lot of runs, and yeah, hopefully that information will give us tomorrow a little bit of confidence into qualifying.”
Max Chilton of Carlin is 31st on the no tow list at 226.636 mph, followed by Sage Karam at 225.533 mph, Ben Hanley at 225.492 mph, Patricio O’Ward at 221.898 mph and Spencer Pigot at 221.733 mph.