Dario Franchitti followed up his Iowa victory with a commanding pole position at Richmond, ahead of his Ganassi teammate Scott Dixon.
The 2007 title winner maintained the form that had seen him top the earlier practice session to outpace his reigning champion stablemate by 0.3 second around the four lap qualifying run.
The Penske duo will line up behind their Ganassi rivals when the race commences on Saturday night, with Helio Castroneves escaping a slide on his third lap to beat teammate Ryan Briscoe.
Raphael Matos could not repeat the form that had seen him second in free practice, but still took sixth for Luczo Dragon, just behind Newman/Haas/Lanigan's Graham Rahal, who showed great improvement over his practice performance to take the 'best of the rest' spot.
EJ Viso, who has endured a desperately unlucky season so far and is yet to finish a race in 2009, was hugely encouraged to qualify seventh for HVM.
Hideki Mutoh remained the best of the Andretti Green quartet in eighth, while his 2008 Richmond winning teammate Tony Kanaan was off the pace having missed most of practice due to a fuel leak. The Brazilian will start a lowly 17th, with teammate Marco Andretti just one place ahead and lamentng a poor first lap.
Danica Patrick squeezed into the top 10 in AGR's other car, taking 10th behind the again-impressive Tomas Scheckter in the Dreyer & Reinbold entry.
The teams now have a 30-minute extra practice session later tonight in preparation for the race, which is scheduled to run under the lights on Saturday evening.LINEUP:
Pos Driver Team Speed
1. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 167.315
2. Scott Dixon Ganassi 166.638
3. Helio Castroneves Penske 165.931
4. Ryan Briscoe Penske 165.749
5. Raphael Matos Luczo Dragon 164.928
6. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan 165.218
7. EJ Viso HVM 164.629
8. Hideki Mutoh Andretti Green 164.575
9. Tomas Scheckter Dreyer & Reinbold 164.441
10. Danica Patrick Andretti Green 164.197
11. Mike Conway Dreyer & Reinbold 164.129
12. Robert Doornbos Newman/Haas/Lanigan 164.071
13. Dan Wheldon Panther 163.843
14. Ed Carpenter Vision 163.824
15. Justin Wilson Coyne 163.506
16. Marco Andretti Andretti Green 162.780
17. Tony Kanaan Andretti Green 162.634
18. Ryan Hunter-Reay Foyt 162.506
19. Mario Moraes KV 160.895
20. Jaques Lazier 3G 153.176