Fernando Alonso to Drive for McLaren at This Year’s Indy 500

Fernando Alonsois back in the race…

The 38-year-old Spanish race car driver will race at this year’s Indy 500 with McLaren‘s new IndyCar team.

Fernando Alonso

It’ll be Alonso’s third attempt to win the famous race, the final part of a ‘Triple Crown,’ which includes the Monaco Grand Prixand Le Mans 24 Hours. He has won both the other events on two occasions.

Were Alonso, who won the Formula One World Championshipin 2005 and 2006 for the Renaultteam, to achieve the feat, he would become just the second driver to do so, following Graham Hill‘s success in the 1960s.

Alonso drove for McLaren’s Formula Oneteam on two occasions, in 2007 and an infamously uncompetitive stint between 2015 and 2018. He stepped away from F1at the end of the latter spell and is yet to return.

“I am a racer and the Indy 500 is the greatest race in the world,” Alonso said.

“I have maximum respect for the race and everyone who competes in it, and all I want is to race against them and give my best.”

Alonso attempted to win the Indy 500 with a poorly-managed McLaren entry last year. A catalogue of errors culminated in the two-time F1 champion failing to qualify for the event.

He fared better on his debut in the race in 2017, qualifying fifth and leading a chunk of the race until an engine issue ended his race prematurely.

McLaren has stepped up its involvement in the series, entering a full-time outfit called SP Arrow McLaren for 2020. Alonso will partner the team’s full-time drivers, Pato O’Ward and Oliver Askew, for the event.

Alonso will race the team’s Chevrolet-powered car, having been blocked in his attempts to race for aHondaoutfit. 

Alonso was scathingly critical of the Japanese manufacturer during his final stint at McLaren and it has since decided he will never race one of their cars — he since won the Le Mans 24 Hours and World Endurance Championshipwith Toyota, a Honda rival.

Hernandez: First Latina to Win ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars”

She may be a teenager, but Laurie Hernandez is already dancing royalty…

The 16-year-old Puerto Rican gymnast, an Olympic gold and silver medalist at the 2016 Rio Games, has been crowned the champion of the 23rd season of ABC‘s Dancing with the Stars.

Laurie Hernandez

Hernandez was crowned the belle of the ballroom alongside her dance partner Val Chmerkovskiy in Tuesday night’s finale, which also featured former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson and IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe.

Hinchcliffe was the runner-up as Johnson finished third.

At just 16 years old, Hernandez is the youngest champion in the show’s history. She’s also the first Latina to take home the coveted mirrorball trophy, and only third Hispanic competitor to claim the title in the show’s 23-season run. Brazilian IndyCar racer Helio Castroneves won DTWS in Season 5, while El Salvadoran-American actor J.R. Martinez, a former U.S. Army soldier, won the title in Season 13.

Hernandez joins Shawn Johnson as Olympic gold medalist gymnasts that have also won a season of Dancing with the Stars. Fellow gymnasts and Olympic champions Nastia Liukin and Aly Raisman have fourth place finishes on their DTWS resumes.

Other previous Olympians to win Dancing with the Stars include Apolo Ohno, Kristi Yamaguchi and Meryl Davis.

Montoya Wins IndyCar Series Race at Pocono Raceway

Juan Pablo Montoya is back at the top of the podium in the IndyCar Series.

The 38-year-old Colombian racing driver won the IndyCar race Sunday at Pocono Raceway, the highlight of a triumphant return to open-wheel racing after seven years in NASCAR.

Juan Pablo Montoya

Montoya won for the first time in the CART/IndyCar Series since 2000 and had his first major victory since he won a road-course race at Watkins Glen in NASCAR in 2010.

Helio Castroneves was second to make it a 1-2 finish Sunday for Team Penske. With double points awarded in the 500-mile races, Castroneves moved into a tie for the points lead with Team Penske teammate Will Power.

Carlos Munoz, Ryan Briscoe and Scott Dixon completed the top five.

Montoya, who won from the pole, took the lead for good when Tony Kanaanwas forced to pit for fuel with four laps left. Montoya took it from there and continued to stamp himself a player in the championship hunt. He moved to fourth in the standings.

“As soon as we signed him, I knew he would be an asset for us, and a headache,” Castroneves said.

Montoya, the 1999 CART champion and 2000 Indianapolis 500, winner took the checkered flag to the sight of hundreds of Colombian fans waving the flag and cheering him on.

It was just the kind of scene he pictured when he decided to head home to open wheel. Montoya wanted a competitive ride again after lackluster results driving for Chip Ganassi in NASCAR. He knew his open-wheel return would have a learning curve: Montoya last ran in CART in 2000, then left Formula One midway through the 2006 season for NASCAR.

After only two top 10s in his first seven starts, Montoya reeled off a third, second and seventh in his past three. Now, he has the win needed to erase any lingering doubts that has move back to open wheel was the right one.

Muñoz Joins Andretti Autosport’s IndyCar Lineup

Carlos Muñoz is joining forces with the famous Andretti racing family.

The 21-year-old Colombian professional racecar driver has joined Andretti Autosport’s IndyCar lineup next season.

Carlos Muñoz

Muñoz will join Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay on the four-car team.

Andretti said sponsorship for Muñoz will be announced at a later date.

Muñoz made his IndyCar debut in the 2013 Indianapolis 500. He started from the front row and finished second.

He was a replacement driver for injured Ryan Briscoe at Toronto in July and finished fourth. He also filled in last minute for E.J. Viso in the season finale at Fontana, where he crashed and finished 23rd.

Muñoz won four Indy Lights races in 2013 and five poles driving for Andretti.