Marco Andretti survives 50 Indy 500 Day 1 Qualification Attempts

Day 1 of Qualifying for the 104th running of the Indy 500 is over and below are all the qualifying attempts that were made are listed below.  Fastest on the day was Marco Andretti at a 4-lap average of 231.351mph was set in the heat of the day, which underscores how strong the Andretti Autosport Hondas are this year. 50 attempts were made to beat him, all failed.

Andretti Autosport prepared Hondas qualified 5 of the top-10 cars and 1-2-3-4 with Ryan Hunter-Reay 2nd in the #28 DHL Honda just 0.0139 mph slower over a 4-laps.  Alexander Rossi was 3rd quick in the #27 NAPA Honda just 0.0560 mph slower than Andretti over the 4 laps and James Hinchcliffe in the #29 Andretti Honda just 0.1048 mph slower over the 4 laps.

Another Honda rounded out the top-5 with Scott Dixon in 5th in the #9 Ganassi Honda .

The only Chevy in the top-10 was a sensational rookie Rinus Veekay 6th quick. How good is Veekay? The 2nd fastest Chevy was Josef Newgarden way down in 13th place.

The Fast Nine Shootout takes place from 1:15-2:15 p.m. (ET) Sunday, with live NBC coverage from 1-3 p.m. Andretti, who led “Fast Friday” practice and was in the top three on the speed charts in all three practices this week, will be a favorite for his first career Indianapolis 500 pole.

“It was a steady day,” Andretti said. “The one-and-done things are always nice. It’s not fun to have to go do this a few times. We executed on the first time, so my goal is to do the same thing tomorrow.”

Andretti’s top spot was the pinnacle of a dominant performance on the 2.5-mile oval by Andretti Autosport and Honda. Andretti drivers swept the top four spots in the first day of qualifying, and Honda-powered drivers will comprise eight of the nine participants Sunday in the Fast Nine Shootout.

2014 Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay was second at 231.330 in the No. 28 DHL Honda, followed by 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi at 231.268 in the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS/Auto Nation Honda. James Hinchcliffe was the final member of the Andretti party on the pavement, fourth overall at 231.195 in the No. 29 Genesys Honda.

Can Hunter-Reay beat Andretti for pole on Sunday?

NTT INDYCAR SERIES points leader and 2008 Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon was fifth at 231.155 after a busy day in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, the fastest non-Andretti car in qualifying. Rookie Rinus VeeKay was the only Chevrolet-powered driver to earn a Fast Nine Shootout spot, an impressive sixth at 231.114 in the No. 21 SONAX entry.

Rookie Alex Palou also turned heads with the seventh-fastest qualifying attempt, 231.034 in the No. 55 Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh Honda. Rahal Letterman Lanigan teammates Graham Rahal and 2017 Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato rounded out the Fast Nine, with Rahal eighth at 230.822 in the No. 15 United Rentals Honda and Sato ninth at 230.792 in the No. 30 Panasonic/PeopleReady Honda.

Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh rookie Alex Palou continued to impress on Saturday during the first day of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 by placing seventh quickest and giving himself the opportunity for a shot at pole position in Sunday’s Fast Nine qualifying session.

Rookie Alex Palou

Palou was the 23rd driver to take to the 2.5-mile oval and he immediately jumped to the top of the timing charts thanks to a first lap of 231.552 mph. However, with a small loss of speed over his next couple of laps he fell to fourth following his third lap and ended up placing his Honda sixth after his run. Ultimately, Palou’s four-lap average of 231.034mph was the seventh quickest on the day.

#21 Rookie Rinus Veekay was the fastest Chevy qualifier beating all those ‘star’ veterans

Each driver in the Fast Nine Shootout gets one attempt, running in inverse order from Saturday’s speeds. Sato will be the first driver on track, followed by Rahal and then through the line until Andretti will make the last attempt in a session that promises to be filled with drama. Andretti could become the first member of his famous racing family to win the Indy 500 pole since his grandfather Mario took the top spot in 1987.

“It’s going to be about little things,” Marco Andretti said. “It’s going to be about getting every downshift right, every shift right, everything we have to do inside the car, the balance. It’s going to be what it’s going to be.”

Andretti Autosport just missed putting five cars into the Fast Nine Shootout. Colton Herta will start 10th in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” on Sunday, Aug. 23 after his best of three qualification attempts averaged 230.775 mph in the No. 88 Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana Honda, just .017 of a mph slower than Sato in ninth.

Dixon made a total of four attempts, more than any other driver. He improved from sixth to fifth by posting his fastest average speed on his second attempt, but he couldn’t climb any higher on his last two tries.

After his ‘stroker ace’ win 4 years ago and getting schooled by Simon Pagenaud last year, Alexander Rossi yearns for a real Indy 500 win. He looks really strong this year. Image by Walt Kuhn

Defending “500” winner Simon Pagenaud will start 25th in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet after a tough day for Team Penske. Reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Josef Newgarden was the fastest of the four Penske drivers in qualifying and will start 13th in the No. 1 Shell V-Power Nitro Team Penske Chevrolet.

Two-time Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso will start 26th in the No. 66 Ruoff Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet.

Saturday Full List of Qualifying Attempts

Pos No Name QSPEED Diff Status Engine Team
1 98 Marco Andretti 231.351 –.—- Qualified – Opening Day Honda Andretti Herta with Marco & Curb-Agajanian
2 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 231.330 0.0139 Qualified – Opening Day Honda Andretti Autosport
3 27 Alexander Rossi 231.268 0.0560 Qualified – Opening Day Honda Andretti Autosport
4 29 James Hinchcliffe 231.195 0.1048 Qualified – Opening Day Honda Andretti Autosport
5 9 Scott Dixon 231.155 0.1318 Qualified – Opening Day Honda Chip Ganassi Racing
6 21 Rinus VeeKay 231.114 0.1596 Qualified – Opening Day Chevy Ed Carpenter Racing
7 55 Alex Palou 231.034 0.2135 Qualified – Opening Day Honda Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh
8 15 Graham Rahal 230.822 0.3563 Qualified – Opening Day Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
9 30 Takuma Sato 230.792 0.3766 Qualified – Opening Day Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
10 88 Colton Herta 230.775 0.3884 Qualified – Opening Day Honda Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport
11 8 Marcus Ericsson 230.566 0.5296 Qualified – Opening Day Honda Chip Ganassi Racing
12 45 Spencer Pigot 230.539 0.5479 Qualified – Opening Day Honda RLL with Citrone/Buhl Autosport
13 1 Josef Newgarden 230.296 0.7125 Qualified – Opening Day Chevy Team Penske
14 10 Felix Rosenqvist 230.254 0.7413 Qualified – Opening Day Honda Chip Ganassi Racing
15 5 Pato O’Ward 230.213 0.7691 Qualified – Opening Day Chevy Arrow McLaren SP
16 20 Ed Carpenter 230.211 0.7703 Qualified – Opening Day Chevy Ed Carpenter Racing
17 26 Zach Veach 229.961 0.9406 Qualified – Opening Day Honda Andretti Autosport
18 47 Conor Daly 229.955 0.9447 Qualified – Opening Day Chevy Ed Carpenter Racing
19 18 Santino Ferrucci 229.924 0.9658 Qualified – Opening Day Honda Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan
20 60 Jack Harvey 229.861 1.0083 Qualified – Opening Day Honda Meyer Shank Racing
21 7 Oliver Askew 229.760 1.0774 Qualified – Opening Day Chevy Arrow McLaren SP
22 12 Will Power 229.701 1.1174 Qualified – Opening Day Chevy Team Penske
23 14 Tony Kanaan 229.154 1.4915 Qualified – Opening Day Chevy AJ Foyt Enterprises
24 41 Dalton Kellett 228.880 1.6802 Qualified – Opening Day Chevy AJ Foyt Enterprises
25 22 Simon Pagenaud 228.836 1.7102 Qualified – Opening Day Chevy Team Penske
26 66 Fernando Alonso 228.768 1.7568 Qualified – Opening Day Chevy Arrow McLaren SP
27 51 James Davison 228.747 1.7711 Qualified – Opening Day Honda Dale Coyne Racing w/Rick Ware Racing/Byrd/Belardi
28 3 Helio Castroneves 228.373 2.0290 Qualified – Opening Day Chevy Team Penske
29 4 Charlie Kimball 227.758 2.4547 Qualified – Opening Day Chevy AJ Foyt Enterprises
30 59 Max Chilton 227.303 2.7711 Qualified – Opening Day Chevy Carlin
31 24 Sage Karam 227.099 2.9132 Qualified – Opening Day Chevy Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
32 67 JR Hildebrand 226.341 3.4440 Qualified – Opening Day Chevy Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
33 81 Ben Hanley 222.917 5.8870 Qualified – Opening Day Chevy DragonSpeed USA
34 9 Scott Dixon 231.053 0 Failed – Opening Day Honda Chip Ganassi Racing
35 30 Takuma Sato 230.307 0 Failed – Opening Day Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
36 30 Takuma Sato 229.852 0 Failed – Opening Day Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
37 60 Jack Harvey 229.757 0 Failed – Opening Day Honda Meyer Shank Racing
38 81 Ben Hanley 220.946 0 Withdrawn Chevy DragonSpeed USA
39 9 Scott Dixon 231.560 0 Waived Off Honda Chip Ganassi Racing
40 88 Colton Herta 230.429 0 Waived Off Honda Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport
41 26 Zach Veach 229.755 0 Waived Off Honda Andretti Autosport
42 1 Josef Newgarden 229.543 0 Waived Off Chevy Team Penske
43 12 Will Power 229.423 0 Waived Off Chevy Team Penske
44 7 Oliver Askew 229.363 0 Waived Off Chevy Arrow McLaren SP
45 22 Simon Pagenaud 229.326 0 Waived Off Chevy Team Penske
46 12 Will Power 229.268 0 Waived Off Chevy Team Penske
47 51 James Davison 228.744 0 Waived Off Honda Dale Coyne Racing w/Rick Ware Racing/Byrd/Belardi
48 26 Zach Veach 228.515 0 Waived Off Honda Andretti Autosport
49 45 Spencer Pigot 227.979 0 Waived Off Honda RLL with Citrone/Buhl Autosport
50 15 Graham Rahal 210.582 0 Waived Off Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing