Indy 500 Quali: Hinchcliffe crashes, Alonso struggles

James Hinchcliffe suffered no serious injuries after a crash on the second lap of his qualifying run at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday.

Track officials announced the popular Canadian driver had been checked and released at the infield medical center. He’s also been cleared to drive.

The question is whether the Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team can get a car ready for Hinchcliffe to make another qualifying attempt. The first day of qualifying ends at 6 p.m. Another round of qualifying begins early Sunday afternoon.

Hinchcliffe says the team was running “on the edge” and he thought a gust of wind pushed the car up the track and toward the wall.

Last year, Hinchcliffe was one of two drivers who didn’t make the 33-car starting grid for the Indianapolis 500. This year, 36 cars are on the entry sheet for the May 26 race. Hinchcliffe may be in danger of missing the race again.

Two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso posted the second-slowest four-lap average in Indianapolis 500 qualifying Saturday and could be in danger of missing the May 26 race after going 225.113 mph.

Only one driver, Sage Karam, had a slower average. He went 215.723, slowing after he hit the wall on the second lap of his run.

Twenty-one of the 36 drivers have made attempts and 33 will start next weekend.

It’s been a tough month for Alonso and his team, McLaren Racing. The #66 Chevrolet also had electrical problems during a test at Indianapolis in late April, and Alonso crashed in practice Wednesday.

He was driving a backup car, and the team struggled to find speed before and after Alonso’s crash. After qualifying, the Spaniard reported he had a cut right rear tyre during his run.