Kyle Kaiser returns to Juncos Racing for 2019 Indy 500

by Jordan Groves

Juncos Racing has today confirmed that Kyle Kaiser will drive the team’s #32 Chevrolet in the 2019 Indianapolis 500 later this month. The American, who has raced numerous times for the team in the NTT IndyCar Series over the last year, will be back behind the wheel for his second attempt at the famous race.

“I am incredibly happy to have the opportunity to qualify for the 103rd Running of the Indy 500,” said Kaiser today. “The team and I have been working very hard to make this happen, so I’m extremely grateful to everyone who has helped make this possible.”

Kaiser stepped up to IndyCar after taking the 2017 Indy Lights championship for Juncos. The American participated in a part-time IndyCar campaign in 2018, making four starts towards the start of the year. Kyle would sadly fail to finish on debut at ISM Raceway, but he would make the chequered flag at the next race at Long Beach, finishing in sixteenth place.

Kaiser’s remaining two races took place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Kyle would finish in nineteenth place in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the road course. For the Indy 500 later in the month, Kyle and Juncos would put in a fantastic effort in qualifying to take seventeenth on the grid for the race; a fantastic effort for a single-car part-time entry.

Sadly, the race would not go as well as qualifying. A mechanical issue just after half-distance saw Kyle have to retire the #32 Chevrolet. This year, Kyle will be hoping to build on the strong speed shown in last year’s qualifying as he aims to qualify for his second Indy 500.

“It will be great to build off what we accomplished last year,” Kyle continued, “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.”

Credit: John Cote / Courtesy of IndyCar

Kyle’s most recent IndyCar race appearance was earlier this year at the Circuit of the Americas. Kyle finished eighteenth at the 2019 IndyCar Classic at COTA and will have been hoping to secure further race dates for later in the season. A strong result in the Indy 500 could put him back in the cockpit later in the year.

Ricardo Juncos, the team’s owner, stated today that he was “happy” to have Kyle back behind the wheel of the #32 Chevrolet; adding another chapter to the now six-year history between Kyle and Juncos Racing.

“We are happy that Kyle [Kaiser] will be back in the No. 32 car this May,” Ricardo said in today’s announcement, “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 moving up to IndyCar and even in our new IMSA program. 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.”

Juncos Racing’s announcement today means that there is just one driver left to be confirmed for the 2019 Indy 500 entry list. Arrow Schmidt Peterson will field a #77 Honda in the race, but the driver is as yet unconfirmed. The most likely candidate for the #77 seat is Oriol Servia, who drove the car in the open test at Indianapolis last week.

The next round of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series will be the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the road course on Saturday, May 11. The first practice session for the Indy 500 will take place a few days later, starting on Tuesday, May 14. The two days of qualifying will take place from Saturday, May 18 to Sunday, May 19; with the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 taking place a week later on Sunday, May 26.

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