Helio Castroneves was fastest in part one of the new-format Indianapolis 500 Pole Day, while big names Tony Kanaan and Paul Tracy are among those who will have to qualify on Bump Day tomorrow.
Under the 2010 system, the top 24 places on the grid are set today, with the fastest nine from the first five hours of qualifying going forward into a new 90-minute shoot-out for the front three rows of the grid.
Penske's Castroneves and Will Power lead the way into the pole fight, but again the star of the session was Alex Tagliani and the incredible new Fazzt team. Tagliani was quickest of all following the field's first runs, with Castroneves and Power only able to beat his speed on their second attempts. Both Ganassi cars go through to the shoot-out, Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon taking fourth and fifth this afternoon.
Also fighting for pole will be Newman/Haas' Hideki Mutoh, Ryan Briscoe in the final Penske entry, and part-time combinations Graham Rahal and Rahal Letterman Racing and Ed Carpenter with the Panther/Vision Racing partnership.
Positions 10th to 24th on the grid are now set, with returnee Townsend Bell taking 10th in the satellite Ganassi car run by Sam Schmidt Motorsports.
It was a disastrous afternoon for Andretti Autosport, which does not have a single car in the pole shoot-out.
Tony Kanaan crashed on his first qualifying attempt, spinning at Turn 1 and sliding backwards right the way down to Turn 2 before slamming into the wall, ending his participation in the day.
Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay secured 16th and 17th on the grid, while Danica Patrick was distraught to only achieve 23rd. John Andretti could not muster sufficient speed today.
It was a tough day for KV Racing too. Takuma Sato missed all of qualifying due to his massive crash in morning practice, while Paul Tracy abandoned his first run after his car went into neutral, and was not quick enough later to stay within the top 24.
Mario Moraes wiped the rear wing from his car when he spun on his first run, but a great effort from the team got him back on track for another attempt in the final minutes of the first segment, during which he grabbed 13th.
All four of Dreyer & Reinbold's drivers are securely in the field, led by Justin Wilson in 11th. Both De Ferran Dragon cars also qualified today, as did Panther's Dan Wheldon - albeit in a disappointing 18th - and HVM's rookie Simona de Silvestro.
Formula Renault 3.5 champion Bertrand Baguette impressively made it into the field on day one for Conquest, hanging on to the crucial 24th spot at the end as Jay Howard's attempt to bump back in for Sarah Fisher Racing failed.
Both AJ Foyt and Dale Coyne cars are also among those who were not fast enough to qualify today so must try again on Bump Day, when the final three rows of the grid will be set.
Round 1 results:
Pos Driver Team Speed
1. Helio Castroneves Penske 226.775mph
2. Will Power Penske 226.412mph
3. Alex Tagliani FAZZT 226.392mph
4. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 226.156mph
5. Scott Dixon Ganassi 225.795mph
6. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman 225.617mph
7. Hideki Mutoh Newman/Haas 225.423mph
8. Ryan Briscoe Penske 225.365mph
9. Ed Carpenter Panther/Vision 225.168mph
10. Townsend Bell Ganassi/Schmidt 225.097mph
11. Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold 225.050mph
12. Raphael Matos de Ferran Dragon 225.029mph
13. Mario Moraes KV 224.888mph
14. Davey Hamilton de Ferran Dragon 224.852mph
15. Mike Conway Dreyer & Reinbold 224.583mph
16. Marco Andretti Andretti 224.575mph
17. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti 224.548mph
18. Dan Wheldon Panther 224.465mph
19. EJ Viso KV 224.380mph
20. Tomas Scheckter Dreyer & Reinbold 224.261mph
21. Ana Beatriz Dreyer & Reinbold 224.243mph
22. Simona de Silvestro HVM 224.228mph
23. Danica Patrick Andretti 224.219mph
24. Bertrand Baguette Conquest 224.189mph
Did not qualify:
Jay Howard Sarah Fisher
AJ Foyt IV Foyt
Mario Romancini Conquest
Vitor Meira Foyt
John Andretti Andretti
Paul Tracy KV
Sebastian Saavedra Herta
Milka Duno Dale Coyne
Alex Lloyd Dale Coyne
Tony Kanaan Andretti
Sarah Fisher Sarah Fisher
Takuma Sato KV