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(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Fernando Alonso, Max Chilton, Patricio O’Ward Fail to Qualify for Indianapolis 500

Today, the road to the Indianapolis 500 came to an end for three drivers. A total of six drivers entered Sunday’s Last Row shootout and three left with their hopes to race in the Indianapolis 500 still intact. Those drivers will get the spotlight all week long while the three who failed to post a time fast enough will have to wait another season to compete in the Indy 500. Fernando Alonso, Patricio O’Ward and Max Chilton were unable to post a time fast enough, sending them all packing.

Chilton, who competes full time in the NTT Data IndyCar Series, had the slowest four-lap average of the six drivers. NBC mentioned multiple times during the broadcast that the team noted that no matter what they threw at the car, it wouldn’t go any faster. The off-pace by Chilton resulted in him being bumped out of the field when Sage Karam posted the fastest time.

Unlike Chilton and Alonso, O’Ward failed to put his No. 31 in the top three and immediately found himself bumped out of the Indianapolis 500. He already started the week behind after being involved in an accident earlier this week that sent him to a backup car. That car just couldn’t get the speed up there and it ultimately led to him failing to qualify. The 2018 Indy Lights Series champion will have to wait another season to make the Indianapolis 500.

The third and final driver to fail to qualify didn’t know his road to the Indy 500 was over until the final checkered flag fell. Kyle Kaiser sent Alonso to the hauler as the McLaren team re-evaluated its options, but as of this writing, Alonso will possibly have to wait one more season to knock off the final leg of racing’s triple crown — emphasis on ‘possibly’ because there is still a chance that McLaren could purchase a ride locked into the Indianapolis 500.

This is shaping up to be one of the closest fields in the history of the Indianapolis 500, and it will be interesting to see what Alonso and McLaren do as we inch closer and closer to the race.

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About Christian Koelle

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Christian Koelle returns to Frontstretch in 2020 as the photo editor at Frontstretch. He will continue to contribute content in the ARCA Menards Series, Sioux Chief Challenge, and ARCA East & West Series. He is also engaged and will be getting married during the 2020 NASCAR off-season. His favorite tracks on the circuit include Barber Motorsports Park, Iowa Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, and Bristol Motor Speedway. During the season, Christian also spends time as a photographer with multiple other outlets shooting Monster Energy AMA Supercross, Minor League & Major League Baseball, and NCAA Football.

One comment

  1. Avatar

    It would only be fair that an American team and driver gives up their car to a foreigner like Alonzo/McLaren. How dare they out qualify them. Make America Giving Again!