Countdown to Indy: Fernando Alonso, James Hinchcliffe talk Indy 500

National

INDIANAPOLIS — We’re just days away from the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Drivers Fernando Alonso and James Hinchcliffe joined Chris Hagan and Chris Widlic in the latest edition of Countdown to Indy.

Formula One and IndyCar driver Fernando Alonso is trying to accomplish racing’s Triple Crown, but fortune has not smiled on him at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In 2017, he took the lead with a strong car only to bow out of the race from engine failure. Last year, he was bumped out of the field at the last minute.

Racing with Arrow McClaren SP, Alsonso conceded he’s not starting quite where he wanted. Still, his goal remains getting a win on Sunday.

Like Ed Carpenter suggested during Wednesday’s show, Alonso said the atmosphere was “difficult” and “strange” at IMS without fans in the stands.

“If I’m honest with you, seeing the grandstands empty while driving around, it felt more like testing than a race,” he said.

Fan favorite James Hinchcliffe is starting in the top 9. He gushed about the event and how much the Indy 500 means to him.

“It’s such a neat event. It’s such a cool track,” Hinchcliffe said of the Indy 500. “You have to focus on what’s happening today. It even changes day to day when you’re here.”

Hinchcliffe, whose career was nearly ended by an injury in 2015, echoed Alsonso’s comments about empty grandstands.

“What makes this even so special is the people in the stands,” he said. “There’s no feeling like walking over pit wall and seeing every seat full. You do those parade laps, and it’s the first time every seat is full. The whole track comes alive.”

He said it would be “heartbreaking” to do the traditional parade lap without the crowd. He knows a large audience will tune in at home and listen to the race on the radio.

Indy 500 organizers are trying to make the best of things. Many race day traditions will return, including the singing of “Back Home Again in Indiana.” Jim Cornelison will perform the song for the fourth straight year.

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will perform a pre-race flyover Sunday for the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500. The flyover will feature six F-16 Fighting Falcons.

Here’s the running order for this year’s race:

Row 1

  • Marco Andretti, Andretti/Herta/Curb-Agajanian, Honda, 231.068 
  • Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda, 231.051
  • Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan, Honda, 230.725 

Row 2

  • Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing, Chevrolet, 230.704 
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport, Honda, 230.648
  • James Hinchcliffe, Andretti Autosport, Honda, 229.870 

Row 3

  • Alex Palou, Coyne/Goh, Honda, 229.676 
  • Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan, Honda, 229.380 
  • Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport, Honda, 229.234

Row 4

  • Colton Herta, Andretti/Harding/Steinbrenner, Honda, 230.775 
  • Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda, 230.566
  • Spencer Pigot, RLL/Citrone/Buhl, Honda, 230.539 

Row 5

  • Josef Newgarden, Team Penske, Chevrolet, 230.296 
  • Felix Rosenqvist, Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda, 230.254 
  • Patricio O’Ward, Arrow McLaren SP, Chevrolet, 230.213 

Row 6

  • Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing, Chevrolet, 230.211 
  • Zach Veach, Andretti Autosport, Honda, 229.961 
  • Conor Daly, Ed Carpenter Racing, Chevrolet, 229.955 

Row 7

  • Santino Ferrucci, Coyne/Vasser-Sullivan, Honda, 229.924 
  • Jack Harvey, Meyer Shank Racing, Honda, 229.861 
  • Oliver Askew, Arrow McLaren SP, Chevrolet, 229.760 

Row 8

  • Will Power, Team Penske, Chevrolet, 229.701 
  • Tony Kanaan, A.J. Foyt Racing, Chevrolet, 229.154 
  • Dalton Kellett, A.J. Foyt Racing, Chevrolet, 228.880 

Row 9

  • Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske, Chevrolet, 228.836  
  • Fernando Alonso, Arrow McLaren SP, Chevrolet, 228.768 
  • James Davison, Coyne/Ware/Byrd/Belardi, Honda, 228.747 

Row 10

  • Helio Castroneves, Team Penske, Chevrolet, 228.373 
  • Charlie Kimball, A.J. Foyt Racing, Chevrolet, 227.758 
  • Max Chilton, Carlin, Chevrolet, 227.303 

Row 11

  • Sage Karam, Dreyer & Reinbold, Chevrolet, 227.099 
  • J.R. Hildebrand, Dreyer & Reinbold, Chevrolet, 226.341
  • Ben Hanley, DragonSpeed, Chevrolet, 222.917 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories