IndyCar remain hopeful of attracting Fernando Alonso to a full-time drive in 2019 after the McLaren driver confirmed he will not race in Formula 1 next year. Alonso needs a victory in the Indianapolis 500 to complete motorsport's 'Triple Crown' and match Graham Hill's unique feat.
McLaren facilitated Alonso's effort at last year's Indy 500, which ended in engine failure after the Spaniard had led in swathes of the race.
The team's failure to develop a competitive car in F1 has seen Alonso switch focus, although McLaren are yet to confirm if they will enter a team in IndyCar next year - which could be pivotal in Alonso taking part.
Mark Miles, president of Indycar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's holding company, says the series are continuing to assist McLaren in their attempts to make it in 2019.
"The announcement certainly has fuelled excitement among Indycar fans who hope that Alonso will compete throughout the championship in 2019," Miles said.
"McLaren is working to put all the necessary arrangements in place, and we are supporting their efforts. I don't expect this to be resolved until closer to the end of this year."
Ryan Hunter-Reay, who partnered Alonso with Andretti Autosport at the Indy 500 last year, hopes the two-time world champion will return to the American series.
"That would be great, absolutely," Hunter-Reay said. "I've been saying it for a while, this series is the most competitive series in the world, no doubt.
"You cannot name who is going to win each race. There are no favourites. There's a long list of winners even from this year. You have a really tight championship.
"It would be appealing to me, if I were him. I spent time with him as his teammate. He's as hungry as ever to win. I think Indycar is a great spot. Indycar's stock continues to rise for that reason."
Alonso also has an offer from NASCAR on the table, as moves in the United States seem likely to paint the next chapter in his career.
A new challenge awaits. ????