Alonso previously attempted the historic race in 2017 and 2019. The 38-year-old qualified fifth for his Indy 500 debut in 2017 with Andretti Autosport, leading 27 laps but finishing 24th after engine issues late in the race. However, 2019 wasn’t so kind to the Spain native; Alonso was bumped from the field in qualifying by Kyle Kaiser.
“It’s obviously one of the most iconic races in the motorsports calendar, and I’m extremely happy to be in the month of May again,” Alonso told NBC Sports. “After last year, we had some issues, and it was not the race we were expecting. This year we go again with the aim to do well and to win the race.”
Alonso won back-to-back F1 titles in 2005 and 2006, winning 32 races and scoring 97 podium finishes. He last raced in the series in 2018, finishing 11th in the standings.
The driver has also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans (twice) and the Monaco Grand Prix, completing two-thirds of the Triple Crown of Motorsport; the Indianapolis 500 is the only box left to check off. Alonso also won the 2019 24 Hours of Daytona with Wayne Taylor Racing.
As he did last year, Alonso will drive the No. 66 car, this time with backing from Ruoff Mortgage. That 2019 car was partnered with Carlin and fielded by McLaren Dallara-Chevrolet, while the 2020 entry is fielded by a team with two additional full-time drivers, Pato O’Ward and Oliver Askew.
Formerly Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, the team changed its name to reflect a new partnership with McLaren, which also fields a F1 team; Alonso drove for it in 2007 and from 2015-18.
“I think the Indy 500 is one of the most impressive races,” Alonso added. “The Indy 500 competes the big three races in motorsports and in three completely different disciplines. It makes you quite a complete driver.”
The 104th Indianapolis 500 will take place on Sunday, May 24. Qualifying for the race will be held on May 16-17.
About the author
Adam Cheek joined Frontstretch as a contributing writer in January 2019. A 2020 graduate of VCU, he works as a producer and talent for Audacy Richmond's radio stations. In addition to motorsports journalism, Adam also covered and broadcasted numerous VCU athletics for the campus newspaper and radio station during his four years there. He's been a racing fan since the age of three, inheriting the passion from his grandfather, who raced in amateur events up and down the East Coast in the 1950s.
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