Marco Andretti has been fast all week, and Friday he was faster than ever on "Fast Friday."
Taking advantage of the IndyCar-approved increase in turbocharger boost levels, Andretti became the favorite in Saturday's qualifications when he posted a lap of 39.5535 seconds (227.540 mph). He also was in the top three in three previous practice sessions this week.
"Why not try to go for the pole?" Andretti told IndyCar.com. "If you're going to be in the top nine, you might as well be on the pole. It would mean the world to me. I showed up this month to win the race and I still believe I can do it from 33rd, But if we could do it from first it would be fantastic.
"Today was a big day for us. I thought we were at a bit of deficit to my teammates to start the month, but we just kept rubbing on it. We kind of woke the car up, and obviously with this added boost today it woke my car up in particular as well. We've been working really hard, too, and finding that every couple of tenths of a mile an hour and it all adds up. I've been really working specifically hard on the consistency over the four laps that I think is going to make a difference."
Ryan Briscoe was second at 226.835 mph, Helio Castroneves ranked third at 226.716 and Ryan Hunter-Reay was fourth at 226.400. Scott Dixon, who ran the fastest lap Thursday, was fifth at 226.224.
The turbocharger boost, which also will be in place for qualifying, equals about 40 horsepower and 4-5 mph per lap. Dixon's fastest lap Thursday was 223.088.