(First-day qualifications for the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil began at 4 p.m. ET, following a delay for rain and track drying. Follow the action here as we continuously update the qualifying results throughout the session.)
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Inclement weather delayed Saturday morning practice and qualifying for the 101st Indianapolis 500, but the skies have cleared and action is about to resume at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
After misty conditions caused a brief hold-up of the morning's practice session, the famed 2.5-mile oval was opened to the 33-car field, where a handful of cars turned laps, led by Gabby Chaves (No. 88 Harding Racing Chevrolet) at 228.160 mph and Graham Rahal (228.007). In all, just 51 total laps were recorded for the session.
Rain began falling at the track just as first-day qualifying was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Heavy rain and lightning persisted until after 1 p.m. Safety trucks started circulating the oval at 1:30 p.m. as the track-drying process began. Shortly before 3:30 p.m., INDYCAR announced that qualification attempts would begin at 4:01 p.m., with each entry being permitted one attempt at the four-lap qualification run to set the groups for Sunday's second day of qualifying.
IMS president Doug Boles announced that the track would remain open past its normal 6 p.m. closing time to allow all entries one four-lap attempt once the track is open for qualifying.
At the end of today's qualifications, the fastest nine qualifiers will be eligible for Sunday's Fast Nine Shootout to determine the pole sitter for the 101st running of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Qualifiers 10-33 from today will also qualify again on Sunday to determine how those positions will line up next Sunday.
Dale Coyne Racing's Pippa Mann (No. 63 Susan G. Komen Honda) was the first to take to the circuit at 4:01 p.m., and completed her four-lap run at an average speed of 219.282 mph.
Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 22 Fitzgerald Glider Kits Team Penske Chevrolet) was the second car on track, posting a four-lap average of 228.645 mph.
2013 race winner Tony Kanaan (No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) followed Montoya, and was the first driver to break the 230 mph barrier on a four-lap average at 230.007 mph.
Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet) snatched the provisional pole from Kanaan with the fourth run of the day, with a four-lap average of 230.072 mph.
Jay Howard affirmed his return to the Indianapolis 500, pacing his No. 77 Lucas Oil/Team One Cure Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda through his four-lap run at 227.853 mph.
Dale Coyne Racing's Ed Jones (No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda) was the first rookie to complete his qualification run, posting a four-lap average of 229.717 mph.
Three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves (No. 3 Shell Fuel Rewards Team Penske Chevrolet) completed his four-lap run without issue, and took the checkered flag with a four-lap average of 229.390 mph.
Sage Karam qualified for his fourth Indianapolis 500 and third for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing with a four-lap average of 227.943 mph.
Ryan Hunter-Reay, 2014 winner of the "500" followed Karam, and placed his Andretti Autosport car in the field with a four-lap average of 229.533 mph.
Four-time series champion and 2008 Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon (No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) swiped the provisional pole from Power with a four-lap run at 230.333 mph.
Defending series champion and current championship leader Simon Pagenaud (No. 1 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet) followed Dixon with a qualifying average of 228.393 mph.
Last year's pole sitter of the Indianapolis 500 James Hinchcliffe (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda) completed his qualification run at 4:58 p.m., a four-lap average of 228.557 mph.
Hinchcliffe's former roommate, Conor Daly (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet) followed the Canuck, and the Noblesville, Ind. native qualified with an average of 225.912 mph.
Third-generation driver Graham Rahal (No. 15 Steak 'n Shake Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) provisionally placed his Honda in the Fast Nine with a four-lap average of 228.835 mph.
Double Formula One World Drivers' Champion Fernando Alonso made quite the impression in his first qualifying run for the "500", as his four-lap average of 230.034 mph placed him provisionally in the top three.
With 2015 Indy Lights champion Spencer Pigot at the wheel, Juncos Racing solidified their first appearance in the Indianapolis 500, as the Orlando native posted a four-lap average of 223.631 mph in the No. 11 Chevrolet.
Chip Ganassi Racing sophomore Max Chilton (No. 8 Gallagher Honda) qualified for his second Indianapolis 500 with a four-lap average of 229.636 mph, provisionally placing him in the Fast Nine, and bumping Montoya out.
Chilton's teammate Charlie Kimball (No. 83 Tresiba Honda) barely beat out Chilton with his run of 229.713 mph, provisionally placing him in the Fast Nine.
Fast Friday's fastest driver Sebastien Bourdais (No. 18 GEICO Dale Coyne Racing Honda) posted the two fastest laps of the day before losing control in Turn 2 on his third lap and making heavy contact with the SAFER barrier. The four-time Indy car champion did not lose consciousness in the incident, and was awake and alert when the Holmatro Safety Team arrived to his car. After visiting the IU Health Emergency Medical Center, Bourdais was taken by ground to IU Health Methodist Hospital for further observation.
Following a delay for clean up of the incident, defending Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi (No. 98 NAPA Andretti-Herta Autosport Honda) completed his qualifying run at 230.148 mph.
Andretti Autosport's Marco Andretti (No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda) was the twentieth driver to complete a run, with a four-lap average of 229.924 mph, provisionally placing himself in the Fast Nine and bumping teammate Hunter-Reay from the shootout.
Andretti's teammate Takuma Sato (No. 26 Honda) impressed in his run, taking the provisional fastest four-lap average at 230.382 mph.
Team Penske pilot Josef Newgarden (No. 2 hum by Verizon Chevrolet) qualified for his sixth Indy 500 with a four-lap average of 228.696 mph.
Sebastian Saavedra (No. 17 AFS-Juncos Racing Chevrolet) completed his four-lap run at 225.815 mph to qualify for his sixth appearance in the "500."
Jack Harvey completed his four-lap run without issue, and placed himself and Michael Shank Racing in their first Indianapolis 500 with an average of 226.894 mph.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's Oriol Servia (No. 16 Manitowoc Honda) completed his qualification run at 227.150 mph, qualifying him for his fourth Indianapolis 500 with RLLR, and his ninth overall.
1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier qualified his No. 44 Lazier Racing-Stalk It-Tivoli Lodge Chevrolet at 221.427 mph to make his 20th appearance in the famed race.
Two-time Indy 500 pole sitter Ed Carpenter (No. 20 Fuzzy's Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet) made his case for the Verizon P1 Award with a four-lap average of 230.468 mph, the fastest of the day thus far.
The current top five after twenty-seven completed qualification attempts are as follows:
1) Ed Carpenter - 230.468 mph
2) Takuma Sato - 230.382 mph
3) Scott Dixon - 230.333 mph
4) Alexander Rossi - 230.148 mph
5) Will Power - 230.072 mph
On the bubble for making the Fast Nine Shooutout is:
9) Ed Jones - 229.717 mph
Live TV coverage of qualifying can be found on ABC. Live timing & scoring and audio coverage can be found at RaceControl.IndyCar.com, and live video streaming can be found on WatchESPN.
More updates to come …