INDIANAPOLIS — Day 1 of Indy 500 qualifying results set up a Honda showdown for the pole and a difficult road to the front for perennial contender Team Penske.
Andretti Autosport swept the top four spots in the Fast Nine, setting up an intrasquad Dallara-Honda battle between Marco Andretti (fastest at 231.351 mph), Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi and James Hinchcliffe.
They will face off against Scott Dixon, Rinus VeeKay, Alex Palou, Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato today in a 1 p.m. ET session for the pole on NBC.
FINAL RESULTS: Fast Nine speeds Sunday, plus Day 1 Saturday
VeeKay is the lone Chevrolet in the Fast Nine, and several other of the manufacturer’s star drivers will be deep in the field at the green flag of the Aug. 23 race (1 p.m. ET, NBC) as starting positions 10-33 were set Saturday.
Qualifying Day 1 ✔️ Tomorrow, we have 4️⃣ chances at the pole position!
— Andretti Autosport (@FollowAndretti) August 15, 2020
Three of Penske’s former Indy 500 winners will start outside the top 20: Will Power (22nd), Simon Pagenaud (25th) and Helio Castroneves (28th). Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will start 26th, and Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indy 500 winner, will be in 28th.
Defending series champion Josef Newgarden (13th) of Penske is the next-highest starting Chevy after VeeKay.