By: Tanner Watkins
May 5, 2019 | 11:00 AM
While it wasn’t quite the best-kept secret, Juncos Racing confirmed some positive news this morning that the 2017 Indy Lights champion Kyle Kaiser will run the team’s sole Indianapolis 500 entry this May. It will be Kaiser’s second bid at the “500” after driving the No. 32 Chevrolet in 2018.
“I am incredibly happy to have the opportunity to qualify for the 103rd Running of the Indy 500,” said Kaiser in a team statement.
“The team and myself have been working very hard to make this happen, so I’m extremely grateful to everyone who has helped make this possible. It will be great to build off what we accomplished last year, having qualified 17th as a single car effort was incredible.
“With this knowledge and experience, I am confident we will have another strong showing. I can’t wait to get back on track and get back to work preparing the No. 32 Chevrolet for the biggest race of the year.”
Juncos Racing has been operating on a part-time basis since entering the IndyCar fray back in 2017. That year, the team made their debut at the Indianapolis 500 in a two-car effort that featured Spencer Pigot (finished 18th) and Sebastian Saavedra (finished 15th).
Last season, Juncos competed in 12 of the 17 championship events with a trio of drivers: Kaiser, Rene Binder and Alfonso Celis Jr.
Kaiser finished 29th at Indianapolis in 2018, exiting the race after 110 laps due to a mechanical issue. In 2019, Juncos’ only appearance on the IndyCar calendar came in Austin, Texas when Kaiser finished 18th at Circuit of the Americas.
Team owner Ricardo Juncos is still keen on building a reliable and competitive NTT IndyCar Series program to pair with a stout Road to Indy dynasty as well as his first-year sports car project. Juncos feels that Kaiser is still the man to bring positive momentum to the team in May.
“We are happy that Kyle (Kaiser) will be back in the No. 32 car this May, said Juncos. “We had a lot of success in qualifying last year as a single car entry, so we are ready to build on what we learned and carry that momentum with us to the Speedway.
“We have a lot of history with Kyle. He has been with this team for six years and has gone through our major transitions, from Pro Mazda to winning the Indy Lights Championship, and (then) moving up to IndyCar and even in our new IMSA program,” Juncos added.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to continue our work with him for one of the biggest events of the year and look forward to a great month at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “
Kaiser will have to complete the mandatory refresher program on Tuesday, May 14 before he can begin running through the team’s practice program. He will be one of 36 drivers fighting for the coveted 33 starting spots in this year’s Indianapolis 500.
Header image by Shawn Gritzmacher/INDYCAR
Open-Wheels coverage of the 2019 month of May at Indianapolis is presented by Driven 2 Save Lives. Driven 2 Save Lives, an entity of the Indiana Donor Network, is a program that utilizes motorsports as a platform to encourage race fans to become organ donors. Currently, there are 114,000 individuals that are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Register as an organ, tissue, and eye donor atDriven2SaveLives.org/register and follow Driven2SaveLives on Facebook andTwitter.