Fernando Alonso fails to quality for Indy 500

Tuesday, 21 May, 2019

Pagenaud's No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet averaged 229.992 miles per hour to edge three-time Indy 500 pole sitter Ed Carpenter at 229.889 miles per hour for his 11th career pole.

The team doesn't compete in the regular IndyCar championship, and scheduled only one test day at Texas Speedway in April before arriving in Indianapolis.

With their elimination during Sunday's Last Row Shootout, the team's future in the series remains a question.

Alonso had a completely new set up for Sunday's shootout but could not get the speed he needed to qualify. Carpenter's fast time in a Chevrolet was a four-lap average of 229.889 miles per hour. Alonso was presented with a setup he had never felt when it was his turn to make his qualifying attempt, and it was his smoothest run of the week.

By all measures it was a thrilling and heartbreaking Sunday in IN, with winners and losers at both ends of the Indy 500 33-car grid.

"I don't think I can wrap my mind around what we just did", he said after bumping Alonso from the field.

Television cameras focused on Alonso during Kaiser's run as he sat on the brink of elimination.

He eventually returned to the track three hours later to try and complete the four laps permitted but had to abandon the run on the third lap.

"Disappointed now", Alonso said.

Fernando Alonso's dream of emulating Graham Hill in achieving motor sport's Triple Crown is on hold for at least another year after the Spaniard failed to qualify for next weekend's Indy 500. McLaren was back at the 500 for the first time since it dominated the race in the 1970s. Surrounding the media obligation was an air of gutted glory that seeped into de Ferran's responses to reporter questions, most notably one in which he apologized to Alonso for not providing a vehicle worthy of taking the fight to his competitors.

"I think the vehicle felt better but obviously it had no practice", Alonso said. "As a race vehicle driver, we love driving IndyCars to the limit and you definitely get a chance to do that here with qualifying".

"This has been a very emotional and hard experience, not only for me but for the whole team", de Ferran is quoted as saying by Racer. I am sorry, man. You're an incredible driver. "It's coming, man. It took a few years to win the race, so it may take a few years to win the pole".

"But I knew it was going to be a lot of work and the team put in the work. We want to earn our place in the field". This is one of the toughest challenges in racing.

"I did imagine it and I'm so happy it came to fruition", he said.

"I want to also think Fernando for his tremendous effort". His auto flipped sideways and nearly completely upside down as flames came off the back and his left front wheel detached. "This is incredibly painful". "Zak Brown should not be digging around for steering wheels". Following the defeat, Alonso didn't give much detail on what went wrong.

While Alonso was moonlighting with Toyota in the World Endurance Championship and Wayne Taylor Racing in the 2019 Rolex 24, he was able to return to his winning ways.

Only two drivers, who had both crashed, were placed below Alonso in the early stages of qualifying after his vehicle suffered a puncture.

Now, though, he's facing the same old issues, the same old anxieties.

Alonso has rejected an offer from the team to purchase a seat in the Indy 500 field for him.