Dario Franchitti topped the times in qualifying for the first of this weekend's two IndyCar races in Detroit, although a penalty for the Scot means E.J. Viso will start from first.
Franchitti joined Graham Rahal, Charlie Kimball and Josef Newgarden in coming into the weekend with a grid penalty, and his Detroit weekend got off to a difficult start when he managed to complete just four laps in qualifying after a brush with the wall.
The Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver also had to overcome a drive-through penalty in the Fast Six session for a blend line violation, but still managed to go to the top of the timing charts with his 1m19.3311s lap. However, he will start 11th due to his 10-grid spot penalty for an unapproved engine change at Indianapolis.
"Thank you to the Target boys because I bent the car up this morning and they did a great job getting the Suave car ready again and I just hung on to it," Franchitti related. "We had a really tough Indianapolis and to back with a pole is great, obviously with a 10-spot grid penalty tomorrow. I'll do the best from where we start."
Andretti Autosport driver Viso's best lap was 0.2 second down on Franchitti's, and will now start up front for the first time in his IndyCar career.
"Very excited. I've been in pole in other car races, but being in pole in IndyCar is definitely one of my targets, my aims that I wanted to accomplish," said Viso. "And little by little working with this group things are starting to come together. I am very proud of all this hard work that we have been doing as a team, as a crew. I am very excited about this year."
Mike Conway did a great job to go third fastest in his first weekend at the wheel of the second Dale Coyne Racing entry. James Jakes finished up fourth quickest in his first-ever Fast Six appearance, with Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alex Tagliani rounding out the top six.
A heavy shower immediately prior to the first session forced the first group to qualify on a soaking wet track, although a dry line began to appear as the afternoon progressed. Most drivers managed to navigate the changing conditions in one piece; the only significant exception being Helio Castroneves, who lost the rear and spun to a stop at Turn 4 halfway through the second phase.
Initially the incident was controlled under local yellows, however race control changed it to red after two minutes. There was consternation from several teams, including Schmidt Peterson Motorsport and AJ Foyt Enterprises, who felt that they were unfairly compromised by what they considered to be inconsistencies in how the flags were used.
"There was a local yellow, they kept going, the conditions didn't change, and they suddenly went red," said Foyt's Takuma Sato. "We're not happy about it."
A separate qualifying session for the Sunday race will take place on Saturday morning.
1. (10) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 01:19.3311 (106.642mph)
2. (5) E.J. Viso, Dallara-Chevy, 01:19.5572 (106.339)
3. (18) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 01:19.8285 (105.977)
4. (16) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 01:19.9897 (105.764)
5. (1) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Chevy, 01:20.0030 (105.746)
6. (98) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 01:20.3514 (105.288)
7. (55) Tristan Vautier, Dallara-Honda, 01:22.4997 (102.546)
8. (14) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 01:22.7164 (102.277)
9. (77) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 01:22.8250 (102.143)
10. (12) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 01:22.9537 (101.985)
11. (6) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevy, 01:26.8058 (97.459)
12. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, No Time (No Speed)
13. (2) AJ Allmendinger, Dallara-Chevy, 01:37.7163 (86.577)
14. (15) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 01:30.5258 (93.454)
15. (7) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 01:37.8023 (86.501)
16. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 01:30.6929 (93.282)
17. (19) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 01:37.8891 (86.424)
18. (78) Simona De Silvestro, Dallara-Chevy, 01:31.0623 (92.903)
19. (25) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Chevy, 01:38.0723 (86.263)
20. (11) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 01:31.5555 (92.403)
21. (27) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Chevy, 01:38.2000 (86.151)
22. (4) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 01:31.6222 (92.336)
23. (67) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 01:38.8651 (85.571)
24. (20) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 01:33.3912 (90.587)
25. (83) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 01:44.0316 (81.321)