SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — One of the most famed drivers on the globe will not go around the oval this Sunday. Meet underdog Kyle Kaiser, who bumped Formula 1 star Fernando Alonso out of the lineup.
After a crash Friday, and almost no sleep for the team all weekend so they could get the car ready for qualifying, Kaiser is officially in the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500, in the last spot on the last row.
“Very relieved, obviously it didn’t really feel real until probably this morning when I woke up. We’re back to work now,” Kaiser said.
Qualifying brought out more drama than a daytime soap opera: a David-and-Goliath battle for the ages.
Two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso with McLaren was bumped out of the field of 33 by Juncos Racing’s Kaiser.
“That’s a great headline, but you know, no matter who it was, you know we wanted to be in the show. It definitely made for a great story that he was the guy, but I always looked up to Alonso. He’s probably one of the greatest drivers of our era, and that just shows how challenging this place really is. No matter your resources or budget or who you are, this place owes nobody any favors. So I went out there, I did the best I could, the team worked so hard to put that car out there, so I think that in this case it was our day,” Kaiser said.
Not only is Kaiser racing for a small team in Juncos Racing, he also has yet to grab a big-time sponsor for his ride.
Despite the role of underdog, Kaiser said he remains focused on trying to grab the checkered flag.
“We’ve seen this place kind of picks its winners, right? So if we go out there, and we just keep it clean and take it to the end, if we’re in the right place at the right time, I think we can find ourselves at the front,” Kaiser said.
Can David conquer another Goliath? We’ll find out on race day.