Today is the last chance for popular drivers James Hinchcliffe and Frenando Alonso to get into the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500. Both have had massive crashes this week. Hinchcliffe’s crash yesterday could not have come at a worse time. The 2016 pole winner is on the verge of missing his second straight 500 and third since 2015. he also missed a week of practice in 2014 recovering from a concussion he suffered in the first Indycar Grand Prix.
Will they make the race?
Alonso and McLaren have struggled since he crashed on Tuesday. Electrical issues have plagued the team. Yesterday each of Alonso’s five attempts followed the same pattern- two good laps followed by a significant drop in speed on the last two. I think McLaren came here with the attitude that they would easily get into the field. They wanted to mostly do Indy on their own. The way the series is now, that is difficult. I would have thought with their budget that they would have had a better performance despite the accident.
Other drivers looking for one of the three open grid spots are Pato O’Ward, Kyle Kaiser, Sage Karam, and Max Chilton. If Alonso and Hinchcliffe succeed in qualifying for the race, only one of these four gets in. I think Karam makes the race. He had a difficult day yesterday. J. R. Hildebrand drove his car Friday to make sure it was okay.
The forecast isn’t looking promising at the moment. Steady rain appears to be moving in around 10 am and may last most of the day. In that event, the last row will be determined tomorrow and the Spencer Pigot will have won the pole.
It seems that each time the Speedway os series changes the qualifying format, an important day gets rained out. It would also be a shame to have a rainout of the NBC broadcast.
Back later this morning with an update on the weather and any time adjustments.