INDIANAPOLIS – Three drivers who crashed during practice earlier in the week used a final practice session before qualifying Saturday morning to fine-tune their comeback efforts for the 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.
Just six drivers took to the track during the 90-minute session. Two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso, who crashed during practice Wednesday, led the way with a fast lap of 228.065 mph in the No. 66 McLaren Racing Chevrolet.
Alonso missed nearly two full practice days after his crash while the McLaren crew prepared a backup car. He returned during Friday’s practice and recorded a lap of 229.328 mph, his fastest of the week. But Saturday morning’s top lap was the best for Alonso without benefit of a tow from a leading car.
Following Alonso in the Saturday morning practice were: Jordan King, who was clocked at 227.198 mph in the No. 42 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda; and Kyle Kaiser, who crashed Friday but returned Saturday in a hastily built backup car with a lap of 226.197 mph in the No. 32 Juncos Racing Chevrolet. Patricio O’Ward, who crashed Thursday, also took part in the final session, reaching 225.507 mph but also brushing the wall lightly in Turn 3 in his No. 31 Carlin Chevrolet.
Qualifying begins at 11 a.m. ET and runs until 5:50 p.m., when the fastest 30 qualifiers will secure a spot in the field. INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold carries the first six hours of qualifying, with NBCSN taking over coverage at 5 p.m. for the final dramatic hour.
Qualifying concludes Sunday with the Last Row Shootout for the final three grid positions and the Fast Nine Shootout to decide the pole winner and starting order of the first three rows. It all airs on NBC from noon-3 p.m. Sunday.
The 103rd Indianapolis is scheduled for Sunday, May 26. NBC’s live coverage begins at 11 a.m.