Indy 500 2012: Qualifying Results, Pole Positions and Time Trials Info

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS - MAY 21:  Alex Tagliani driver of the #77 Bowers & Wilkens/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara Honda celebrates winning the pole position with team owner sam Schmidt during qualifying for the the 95th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 21, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

The 96th running of the Indianapolis 500 is just about a week away and things will get kicked off on Saturday when the best drivers the IRL has to offer will vie for the Indy 500's pole position.

The action starts at 11 a.m. ET and once every car has attempted to qualify, the top nine cars will compete for spots in the first three rows.

Update: Sunday, May 20 at 12:25 p.m. ET

Ryan Briscoe is your 2012 Indy 500 pole sitter. He won that pole by the narrowest margin in the history of the event. 

His margin over James Hinchcliffe was so close it is hard to fathom. He beat him by just .0023 seconds. The Associated Press reported that a series spokesman said that time equated to a thousandth of an inch

Briscoe had a four-lap average of 226.484 mph. Briscoe drives for Roger Penske. This is the iconic owner's fifth pole in the last seven years. 

The first three throw rows are now set. Here is how they shake out. 

1. Briscoe, Ryan, 226.484 
2. Hinchcliffe, James, 226.481 
3. Hunter-Reay, Ryan, 226.240 
4. Andretti, Marco, 225.456 
5. Power, Will, 225.422 
6. Castroneves, Helio, 225.172 
7. Newgarden, Josef,224.037 
8. Kanaan, Tony, 224.751 
9. Viso, EJ, 224.422

Whichever car has the fastest average time in the second segment will have earned the pole. Although a pole certainly doesn't guarantee anything, since things often get jumbled as soon as the race starts, it is most definitely a prestigious honor that every driver would love to achieve.

Here is everything you need to know about Saturday's qualifying session. Check back later for full updates and analysis on the qualifying results for the Indianapolis 500.

Where: Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Ind.

When: Saturday, May 19 at 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. ET and 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. ET

Watch: NBC Sports Network 

Qualifying Order

1. #11 Tony Kanaan

2. #78 Simona de Silvestro

3. #14T Mike Conway

4. #38T Graham Rahal

5. #6 Katherine Legge

6. #9T Scott Dixon

7. #99 Townsend Bell

8. #9 Scott Dixon

9. #50T Dario Franchitti

10. #30T Michel Jourdain

11. #12 Will Power

12. #83 Charlie Kimball

13. #7 Sebastien Bourdais

14. #3 Helio Castroneves

15. #22T Oriol Servia

16. #41 Wade Cunningham

17. #11T Tony Kanaan

18. #20T Ed Carpenter

19. #17 Sebastian Saavedra

20. #26T Marco Andretti

21. #18 Justin Wilson

22. #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay

23. #19 James Jakes

24. #39 Bryan Clauson

25. #50 Dario Franchitti

26. #28T Ryan Hunter-Reay

27. #38 Graham Rahal

28. #67 Josef Newgarden

29. #18T Justin Wilson

30. #19T James Jakes

31. #2 Ryan Briscoe

32. #25 Ana Beatriz

33. #15T Takuma Sato

34. #64 Jean Alesi

35. #20 Ed Carpenter

36. #30 Michel Jourdain

37. #8 Rubens Barrichello

38. #4T JR Hildebrand

39. #15 Takuma Sato

40. #22 Oriol Servia

41. #99T Townsend Bell

42. #7T Sebastien Bourdais

43. #2T Ryan Briscoe

44. #5 EJ Viso

45. #12T Will Power

46. #4 JR Hildebrand

47. #98T Alex Tagliani

48. #83T Charlie Kimball

49. #41T Wade Cunningham

50. #8T Rubens Barrichello

51. #77 Simon Pagenaud

52. #27 James Hinchcliffe

53. #3T Helio Castroneves

54. #5T EJ Viso

55. #26 Marco Andretti

56. #27T James Hinchcliffe

57. #98 Alex Tagliani

58. #14 Mike Conway

59. #77T Simon Pagenaud

60. #67T Josef Newgarden

61. #21 TBA (Ed Carpenter Racing second car)

Drivers to Watch

Alex Tagliani

LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 13:  Alex Tagliani of Canada driver of the #98 BHA with Curb Agajanian Sam Schmidt Racing Dallara Honda during practice for the IZOD IndyCar Series  World Championship on October 13, 2011 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, N
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

He surprised many by claiming the pole last year, but Alex Tagliani has to be considered one of the favorites to nab it again this time around. The Canadian driver will represent Bryan Herta Autosport in the No. 98 machine and figures to be one of the fastest cars on the track.

A crash with around 50 laps remaining last year robbed Tagliani of a good finish as he ended up 28th. Tagliani did manage to lead 20 laps though and was able to make his presence felt. Tagliani will hope to have a much better showing in 2012, however, and that starts with his qualifying run.

Dario Franchitti

SEBRING, FL - MARCH 08:  Dario Franchitti sits in his the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Dallara DW12  during the Sebring Open Test for the IZOD INDYCAR Series at Sebring International Raceway on March 8, 2012 in Sebring, Florida.  (Photo by Jonatha
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

There is no doubt that Dario Franchitti is one of the all-time greats in the IndyCar series as he has won four points totals and has twice won the Indianapolis 500. All of that experience and success makes Franchitti a good bet to claim the pole or to come pretty close at the very least.

The 38-year-old star may not be quite as dominant as he once was, but he is still a premier name in Indy racing and is most definitely someone worth keeping an eye on. There is a lot to be said for familiarity and Franchitti has plenty of that when it comes to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Helio Castroneves

ST PETERSBURG, FL - MARCH 25:  Helio Castroneves of Brazil, driver of the #3 Shell V-Power/Pennzoil Ultra Team Penske celebrates winning the IZOD IndyCar Series Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg on March 25, 2012 in St Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by Chri
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Few drivers have ever had as much success in the Indy 500 as Helio Castroneves. The Brazilian star has won the race three times, which is something that only eight other drivers can lay claim to. He has also been dominant when it comes to qualifying for the race with four poles to his credit.

Castroneves had some struggles last season, but he has been much better in 2012 as he is second in the points standings. Castroneves has been very consistent thus far and has a hot hand, so it wouldn't be a surprise in the least to see him take the pole.

Pole Prediction

There are probably at least 15 to 20 drivers with a legitimate shot at earning the pole, so predicting one may be an exercise in futility. My pick, however, is Ryan Hunter-Reay. While he has never fared particularly well in the Indy 500 itself, he is off to the best start of his career thus far. His qualifying has been quite good as well, so he should be a factor. 

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter