Indy 500: Alonso, Hinchcliffe forced to face Bump Day drama

Both McLaren Racing’s Fernando Alonso and Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ James Hinchcliffe will have to join the last chance qualifiers’ shootout having failed to lock themselves into the Top 30 qualifiers for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500.

Indy 500: Alonso, Hinchcliffe forced to face Bump Day drama

Alonso was 33rd after all 36 drivers made their initial qualifying runs, while Hinchcliffe was last after a heavy crash in Turn 2 on his opening lap.

The McLaren driver eventually made five attempts to get himself into the field, his last one – an average of 227.244mph – getting the job done only temporarily. Improvements from such as Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s JR Hildebrand, Ben Hanley of DragonSpeed, and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda’s Jordan King and Graham Rahal put them well out of the danger zone and bumped Alonso to 31st.

“We didn’t really have the speed,” said Alonso. “So we are where we deserve [to be] today. Hopefully tomorrow we have another chance to be in the race. If we can take it, OK, if we don’t take it, it’s because we don’t deserve it. I’m happy with that anyway.

When asked what his team can do overnight, he replied: “To be honest not much, I think it has been the whole week the speed has not really been there in the car. We will not find it in one night, so we will try and do a good and clean run and hopefully that will put us in the top three positions.”

Following his shunt, Hinchcliffe went out in the #5 T car but couldn’t find the speed to get in the show.

This pair will thus join Kyle Kaiser of Juncos Racing, Sage Karam in the second DRR car, and Carlin Racing’s Max Chilton and Patricio O’Ward in the Bump Day shootout for the final three slots on the 33-car grid.

Following the initial runs, both Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda drivers improved their times, Felix Rosenqvist taking a second retake just to ensure himself a place on the grid.

Conor Daly made a big leap to get into 11th in the fifth Andretti Autosport-Honda, and his teammate Alexander Rossi edged ahead of Harding Steinbrenner Racing’s Colton Herta – but only temporarily. The Circuit of The Americas winner would later head out with little more than an hour left on the clock and the car trimmed out a little more to grab fifth and the honor of fastest Honda driver of the day

Marco Andretti and Helio Castroneves both made attempts to get into the Fast Nine but failed and will start 10th and 12th respectively.

Weather allowing – and it's looking shaky at best – the schedule for tomorrow is as follows:

10.15 - 10.45am - Last Row contenders practice
10.45 - 11.15am - Fast Nine contenders practice
12.15 - 1.15pm - Last Row contenders qualifying – one four-lap run each
1.15 - 2.15pm - Fast Nine qualifying – one four-lap run each
3.15 - 6.00pm - Practice for the 33 qualifiers

Priority will be given to the Last Row contenders over the Fast Nine contenders should bad weather heavily affect the day.

CONTENDERS FOR FAST NINE SHOOTOUT

P Name QSPEED QL1 QL2 QL3 QL4 Engine Team
1 Spencer Pigot 230.083 230.800 230.078 229.798 229.659 Chevy Ed Carpenter Racing
2 Will Power 230.081 230.433 230.197 229.859 229.836 Chevy Team Penske
3 Simon Pagenaud 229.854 230.521 229.862 229.728 229.309 Chevy Team Penske
4 Josef Newgarden 229.749 230.130 229.734 229.779 229.357 Chevy Team Penske
5 Colton Herta 229.478 229.791 229.570 229.126 229.425 Honda Harding Steinbrenner Racing
6 Ed Jones 229.440 231.015 230.070 229.110 227.595 Chevy Ed Carpenter Racing
7 Ed Carpenter 229.349 230.028 229.529 229.072 228.772 Chevy Ed Carpenter Racing
8 Alexander Rossi 229.268 229.760 229.306 229.137 228.869 Honda Andretti Autosport
9 Sebastien Bourdais 228.800 229.726 229.760 226.777 228.962 Honda Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan

LOCKED IN PLACE FOR P10-30:

10 Marco Andretti 228.756 229.626 228.920 228.429 228.055 Honda Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian
11 Conor Daly 228.617 229.226 228.497 228.403 228.344 Honda Andretti Autosport
12 Helio Castroneves 228.523 229.543 228.557 228.079 227.918 Chevy Team Penske
13 Marcus Ericsson 228.511 229.015 228.217 228.443 228.371 Honda Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
14 Takuma Sato 228.300 228.779 228.257 227.866 228.299 Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
15 James Davison 228.273 229.247 228.102 227.885 227.865 Honda Dale Coyne with Byrd and Belardi
16 Tony Kanaan 228.120 228.630 228.200 227.881 227.771 Chevy AJ Foyt Enterprises
17 Graham Rahal 228.104 228.565 228.333 228.254 227.270 Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
18 Scott Dixon 228.100 228.656 228.155 228.077 227.514 Honda Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
19 Oriol Servia 227.991 228.563 228.359 227.821 227.226 Honda Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
20 Charlie Kimball 227.915 228.305 227.910 227.951 227.496 Chevy Carlin
21 JR Hildebrand 227.908 228.786 228.210 227.594 227.050 Chevy Dreyer and Reinbold Racing
22 Ryan Hunter-Reay 227.877 228.656 228.080 227.431 227.347 Honda Andretti Autosport
23 Santino Ferrucci 227.731 228.293 228.083 227.404 227.147 Honda Dale Coyne Racing
24 Matheus Leist 227.717 228.091 227.785 227.467 227.525 Chevy AJ Foyt Enterprises
25 Jack Harvey 227.695 228.566 227.929 227.618 226.675 Honda Meyer Shank Racing with Arrow SPM
26 Jordan King 227.502 227.789 227.702 227.444 227.075 Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
27 Ben Hanley 227.482 227.932 227.692 227.353 226.953 Chevy DragonSpeed
28 Zach Veach 227.341 228.348 227.405 226.819 226.800 Honda Andretti Autosport
29 Felix Rosenqvist 227.297 227.743 227.525 227.187 226.735 Honda Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
30 Pippa Mann 227.244 228.369 227.380 226.484 226.751 Chevy Clauson-Marshall Racing

CONTENDERS FOR P31-33

#66 Fernando Alonso, McLaren Racing-Chevrolet
#59 Max Chilton, Carlin-Chevrolet
#31 Patricio O'Ward, Carlin-Chevrolet
#5T James Hinchcliffe, Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda
#24 Sage Karam, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing-Chevrolet
#32 Kyle Kaiser, Juncos Racing-Chevrolet

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Series IndyCar
Event Indy 500
Author David Malsher-Lopez
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