INDIANAPOLIS – 24 hours before opening day for the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 (11 a.m. ET/NBC/INDYCAR Radio Network) practice, Juncos Racing lost their two primary sponsors for the month. That then put the team in jeopardy of making this year’s big race.
Despite that, the team wasn’t going to quit. They were going to stick with their driver (Kyle Kaiser) and stick with what they’ve had. Yes, they would have a blank white car, but they had hoped that they had the speed to make the race this weekend which could lead to new funding after.
From what started off as a rough week, got better and has now gotten drastically worse. Kaiser, was quick this week in being 11th fastest on Wednesday and seventh on Thursday. On the no tow report, he was fifth and 20th respectively.
With where they stood heading into Fast Friday, they should easily be in the field of 33. But, they were forced with a major setback early on in Friday’s practice session.
Kaiser, lost control of his No. 32 Chevrolet in Turn 3 and backed into the outside SAFER barrier. He briefly got airborne as a result before coming to rest on all four wheels in the short chute.
Jay Frye told me the car did its job of crawling up the wall like it did and coming back down on all four wheels but his only concern would be something like that happening in the race and another car hitting the car while it was in the air.
Luckily, Kaiser walked about from the accident but the car is badly damaged. Team officials have confirmed that they have another tub but the problem lies in the parts to put on the tub.
The parts on the primary car are badly damaged. They need replaced, not repaired. Where this gets tricky is, how many parts can be repaired and how many need bought? Remember, they don’t have a sponsor. They don’t have the funding to purchase a ton of new parts. What does this bill come out to be?
Then, among the parts that are salvageable, how good can this one car team get them to be fast?
The team has a lot of work to do and a lot of work on the checkbook. Qualifying in one day away and if it rains Sunday, they could be in trouble.