The shots been fired and the first day of Indianapolis 500 qualifying is over for all but nine drivers who have made the field for the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, Aug. 23.
Marco Andretti, who posted the fastest time in today’s session, will be challenged by nine others on Sunday, Aug. 16, during Fast Nine Pole Qualifying, which begins at 1:15 p.m on NBC.
The grandson of 1969 Indianapolis 500 winner Mario Andretti, Marco posted a 231.351-mph run, which showed him at the top of the scoring pylon at the end of the day.
“We’re going to [be] playing with three of our teammates and we get to go out last, which I don’t know is good in the middle of the day,” said Andretti, who has finished second once, and third three times in the grand event since 2006. “It’s going to be close. That’s what it is all about, right?”
Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon posted a 231.155-mph run as the last driver on the track. “I think the car is there,” Dixon, who ran fifth, said. “With a shot, I think we’re going to have a good run tomorrow we just wanted to get the balance better. We’ll work hard tonight, we’ll see what we have tomorrow.”
Qualifying tomorrow will be Andretti, Hunter-Reay, Rossi, Hinchcliffe, Dixon, Rinus VeeKay, Alex Palou, Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato. The qualifying order will be determined by the reversal of the aforementioned finishing order.
Notably in the rest of the field who has locked themselves in for next Sunday’s race is Will Power, who is set to start 22nd, his worst starting position in the Indianapolis 500 since his rookie year in 2008, when he started 23rd. Defending polesitter and victor Simon Pagenaud will start in 25th, with three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves set to start in 28th.
Fast Nine Pole Qualifying presented by Gainbridge will take place at 1:15 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 16, on NBC. The ninth-fastest car will be the first off of pit road. All drivers will have the opportunity to practice on track from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (NBC Sports Gold), and again from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. (NBCSN, NBC Sports Gold).
About the author
John Willoughby is a Saturday news writer for Frontstretch.com. He became a fan of the sport upon his attendance to the 2008 Daytona 500 and continues to attend yearly. Outside of reporting, he enjoys blogging and participating in one of many civic, service and fraternal organizations he's involved in.