Kyle Kaiser. (Karl Zemlin/IndyCar photo)

INDIANAPOLIS – Kyle Kaiser was the Cinderella story of the 103rd Indianapolis 500, after securing the 33rd and final spot in the field during the Last Row Shootout on Crown Royal Armed Forces Qualifying Weekend.

However, Kaiser and his Juncos Racing team couldn’t translate that magic over into race day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday.

Kaiser ended up being the third retirement of the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500, after spinning in turn three and crashing into the outside SAFER Barrier on lap 73 of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

The shunt came after Kaiser nearly flipped during practice week leading into qualifying, couldn’t lock in on the opening day of qualifying and then pulled out a miraculous run during the Last Row Shootout to bump McLaren Racing and two-time Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso out of the field.

Sunday’s crash was Kaiser’s second hard – and heartbreaking – hit of the month and wrote a tragic end to arguably the greatest story of May, given Juncos’ status as the smallest Indy car team in the paddock.

“We caught up to a car coming out of the pits, and I made the wrong decision to go high and caught the marbles in turn three,” Kaiser recalled of the incident that took him out of the race. “I was a passenger with a lot of understeer at that point, and once it gripped back up on us, the car just spun around.

“I was hoping to be able to recover it, but unfortunately I couldn’t.”

Kaiser was credited with 31st in the 33-car field, his second DNF in two Indianapolis 500 starts.

Jacob Seelman

Jacob Seelman, 24, is the founder and managing editor of 77 Sports Media and a major contributing writer for SPEED SPORT Magazine. He is studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C. and also serves as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.

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