Scott Dixon will start from pole position for the first time in 2011 after a commanding performance in qualifying at Mid-Ohio.
Having topped his Group and Round 2, Dixon banged in an early 1m08.0776s effort in the final Firestone Fast Six shootout which was never bettered, giving the New Zealander his first pole of the season and the 16th of his career.
"It's been a pretty smooth weekend, and its nice to be on pole," Dixon said. "It's been a long time since pole for me so it's nice to be back in that situation, but tomorrow is another day."
The Australian will share the front row with Ryan Briscoe, who was the last driver to qualify for the final six shoot-out but then turned out to be Dixon's biggest challenger, eventually finishing +0.258sec off pole. Championship leaders Dario Franchitti and Will Power will share the second row after qualifying third and fourth respectively. For Power, it is the second consecutive time he will not start from pole on a road or street course, the Australian having held a perfect record before Takuma Sato broke his streak at Edmonton.
Ryan Hunter-Reay, pacesetter in second practice, will start from fifth, with Graham Rahal lining up alongside him to give Ganassi three cars inside the top six.
James Hinchcliffe missed out on the top six shootout by just 0.338sec as Briscoe claimed the final spot, and will start from seventh, alongside Sam Schmidt's Alex Tagliani. Edmonton polesitter Sato will share the fifth row with Charlie Kimball, who completed Ganassi's strong qualifying as all four cars finished inside the top 10.
With Justin Wilson in a hospital following his accident in second practice, his replacement Simon Pagenaud performed admirably despite the extremely short notice, putting the No. 22 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing car on 18th.
Rain threatened but never materialized during the session, although the cool conditions did prove troublesome in terms of finding the perfect setup.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Scott Dixon Ganassi 1m08.0776s
2. Ryan Briscoe Penske 1m08.3359s + 0.2583s
3. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 1m08.4016s + 0.3240s
4. Will Power Penske 1m08.4212s + 0.3436s
5. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti 1m08.5796s + 0.5020s
6. Graham Rahal Ganassi 1m08.7423s + 0.6647s
7. James Hinchcliffe Newman/Haas 1m08.7701s Round 2
8. Alex Tagliani Sam Schmidt 1m08.8412s Round 2
9. Takuma Sato KV 1m08.8653s Round 2
10. Charlie Kimball Ganassi 1m08.8655s Round 2
11. Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne 1m08.9115s Round 2
12. EJ Viso KV 1m08.9427s Round 2
13. JR Hildebrand Panther 1m09.4161s Group 1
14. Simona de Silvestro HVM 1m09.3009s Group 2
15. Helio Castroneves Penske 1m09.4369s Group 1
16. Tony Kanaan KV 1m09.3013s Group 2
17. Mike Conway Andretti 1m09.4904s Group 1
18. Simon Pagenaud Dreyer & Reinbold 1m09.3851s Group 2
19. Vitor Meira Foyt 1m09.6061s Group 1
20. Oriol Servia Newman/Haas 1m09.4935s Group 2
21. Marco Andretti Andretti 1m09.6059s Group 1
22. Sebastian Saavedra Conquest 1m09.7105s Group 2
23. Danica Patrick Andretti 1m10.2166s Group 1
24. James Jakes Dale Coyne 1m09.8061s Group 2
25. Ana Beatriz Dreyer & Reinbold 1m10.4537s Group 1
26. Martin Plowman Sam Schmidt 1m10.2533s Group 2
27. Ed Carpenter Sarah Fisher 1m12.3720s Group 2