INDIANAPOLIS – Just 16 days ago, Fernando Alonso had never driven a lap in his entire life on an oval. Now, just over two weeks later, he’s going to be qualifying for his first ever Indianapolis 500.
But, can he realistically win the pole?
I honestly think so.
Alonso, has turned 318 laps this month, with a top lap in race trim at 225.619 mph. But, when the boost was turned up on Friday, it didn’t faze the Spaniard like we thought it may. He in fact, didn’t blink.
Just minutes into the Friday practice session at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Alonso was turning a lap of 231.549 mph. He’d go out later in the day after a brief rain shower and get more laps in, and went even quicker with a top speed of 231.682 mph. His no tow lap?
The overall lap was fourth fastest, while his no tow lap ranked fifth.
If he can do four consecutive laps at that speed both tomorrow and again on Sunday, he realistically can earn the pole for next Sunday’s 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 (11 a.m. ET/ABC/INDYCAR Radio Network).
How amazing would that be? A driver with no oval experience coming over here and earning the pole? The world would go crazy.
The attention is already higher than it’s been in a while, imagine him starting the pole and having a week of build up to the ‘500 on that.
Alonso is quick enough and has the car to get it done.