Rookie Felix Rosenqvist will start sixth in the No. 10 Clover Honda after surviving the first two rounds of knockout-style qualifying.
“I think we had a great session and I’m really happy with the results,” said Rosenqvist. “Obviously, you want to do better in the third round, but for whatever reason, the tires just weren’t there and there was nothing left to get from them. I was happy with the second qualifying round on both primary and alternate (Firestone) tires and I felt we nailed that and the times we were able to achieve.”
Rosenqvist’s teammate, Scott Dixon, did not advance out of the second round of qualifying and will start eighth in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda.
“I definitely felt off,” said Dixon. “It was just hard for us. On the initial turn-in for us, we had a lot of understeer and the car was very snappy off the corner. We went fairly different as a result of how the practice went this morning, so the No. 10 went one route and we went another. Maybe we just went a little too far.”
Despite the difficulties, the Ganassi team will start inside the top 10. Bobby Rahal’s team will not.
Graham Rahal will start 15th in the No. 15 Fifth Third Bank Honda and his teammate, Takuma Sato, will start 17th in the Mi-Jack Honda. Neither driver made it out of the first round of qualifying.
“Four cars were within six-hundredths of a second in our group and we weren’t on the right end of that to progress to Round 2,” said Rahal. “Obviously, we’re disappointed to not be faster.”
“We’re just not quite there on the setup,” said Sato. “We made some improvements from practice, but it seems like we need more speed. We want to try a few things in the warmup to make the car faster, and then we will try to work our way forward in the race.”
Team Penske’s Will Power will start on the pole position with Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi will start alongside Power on the front row.
The morning on warmup on Sunday runs from Noon to 12:30 p.m. followed by the green flag at 4:05 p.m. The race will be televised live on CNBC and can be heard on the Advance Auto Parts IndyCar Radio Network.