Ed Carpenter continued his impressive practice pace to head the field during the first day of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, securing a place in the Fast Nine shootout for pole position.

Carpenter turned in a four-lap average of 230.468 mph during his qualifying run as his eponymous team saw both of its cars reach the Fast Nine, with JR Hildebrand finishing fourth.

The Ed Carpenter Racing cars were two of just three Chevrolet-powered entries that made the top nine, with Andretti Autosport and Chip Ganassi Racing giving Honda plenty of presence in Sunday's fight for pole.

Carpenter finished P1 ahead of Takuma Sato and Scott Dixon, while defending Indy 500 champion Alexander Rossi was fifth. Will Power was Penske's only driver to reach the Fast Nine, ending the day sixth-fastest.

Fernando Alonso's maiden Indy 500 qualifying run saw him make good on his practice pace by finishing seventh, ensuring that he will start the race from the front three rows of the grid. Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti followed the Spaniard, with all of the top nine drivers entering the fight for pole on Sunday.

Ed Jones was unfortunate not to reach the Fast Nine, ending up P10 for Dale Coyne Racing. All drivers who qualified from 10th to 33rd will have their time erased and run again tomorrow, but are frozen out of a top nine position for the start.

The session was delayed by several hours due to rain and then interrupted following a terrifying crash for Sebastien Bourdais. The Frenchman was poised to hit the top of the timesheets after turning in two laps above 231 mph, only to lose control and smash into the wall at high speed and roll his car.

Bourdais was quickly extracted from his car by IndyCar's safety crew and taken to a local hospital, with series officials confirming he remained conscious throughout the shunt and was awake and alert.

Qualifying for the Indy 500 concludes on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.


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