Mother Nature provided plenty of curve balls on Friday, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The excitement was non-stop with the changing weather conditions, as teams and drivers had to adjust on the fly. In the end, it was Sebastian Saavedra who won the Verizon P1 Award, and will start on pole for tomorrow’s race. This is the first career IndyCar pole for Sebastian. In fact, this was the first time in his career that he had participated in the Firestone Fast Six. Jack Hawksworth had an impressive run as well, and will start alongside Saavedra on the front row.
Ryan Hunter-Reay saw his day come to a crashing halt, as he hit a puddle of standing water coming off of the final turn, onto the main straightaway. His car spun backwards and slammed into the outside wall, where there is no SAFER barrier. Ryan was okay, but his car was heavily damaged. He was just two minutes away from winning the pole. Rounding out the top six were Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, and Scott Dixon.
The day started out with good weather, then the raindrops started falling around 9:30. Standing on pit road, I mostly just felt sprinkles. Cars put on the rain tires, and got busy in the morning practice session. There was a lot of passing, especially down in Turn 7, where a few drivers had some close calls. Sebastien Bourdais, Mikhail Aleshin, and Juan Montoya got three-wide, nearly putting each other in the grass.
Below you can watch highlights from today’s qualifying session, courtesy of IndyCar.
The inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis will air on ABC at 3:30 tomorrow, with the green flag set for 3:50, featuring a standing start. Allen Bestwick, Scott Goodyear, and Eddie Cheever Jr will call the action on TV, with Paul Page announcing on IndyCar Radio.