INDIANAPOLIS–Indycar driver Kyle Kaiser of Juncos Racing crashed his car during practice last Friday, but came back to get in the field for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500.
He qualified in dramatic fashion with an average lap speed of 227.372, just narrowly bumping Fernando Alonso (227.353) out of the field in the Last Row Shootout Saturday.
He’ll start 33rd in Row 11.
He hasn’t had a sponsor, but he says he’ll have one soon. Kaiser told 93 WIBC’s Tony Katz Wednesday that he has struggled to get sponsorship, but that is going to change.
“I can promise you that the car that will not be blank come race day (May 26). There’s just a lot of deals being worked on day-to-day,” Kaiser said.
Kaiser says it’s kind of a mad rush.
“These things usually don’t happen quickly, but now there’s a lot of people who want to make something happen. I can’t really announce anybody at this point, but I’ve seen some renderings and the car is going to be filled with some names,” Kaiser said.
He says he didn’t get a chance to talk to Alonso at the end of qualifying because he was bombarded by his team members who were celebrating getting into the race.
“I’ve seen him before. He’s very nice and accommodating, but my heart goes out to everybody who didn’t make the race,” Kaiser said.
The Backup Car
When the crash happened Friday, Kaiser’s Juncos Racing team had to get another car ready in a short amount of time.
“I’m feeling good with it. Obviously, it doesn’t have the same speed that our other car did. It was almost like hitting the reset button having to do a year’s worth of work in 48 hours to get it ready,” Kaiser said.
Kaiser told Katz they got a chance to set it up Monday.
“It handles really well behind cars. We weren’t falling behind and we can make passes if people make mistakes,” Kaiser continued.
Kaiser really made a name for himself in Indy Lights. For 2015, Juncos Racing promoted Kaiser to Indy Lights. He scored two podiums and seven top 5s out of 16 races, finishing sixth in the season standings. In 2016, he got two wins and eight podiums in 18 races, which put him third in the final classification.
He signed with Juncos Racing for a third Indy Lights season in 2017 and won the Championship to claim the $1 million scholarship to race in IndyCar.
(PHOTO: Khris Hale Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Audio titled KYLE KAISER INTERVIEW WITH TONY KATZ 5 – 22 – 19 by 93WIBC
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