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First day of Indianapolis 500 qualifying washed out by rain

Only two drivers post qualifying speeds before rain stops the first day of qualifying for Indianapolis 500

Ryan Hunter-Reay finished the rain-shortened first day of Indianapolis 500 qualifying in the same spot he finished last year's race — No. 1.

Now he'll have to do it all over again Sunday.

Heavy rain washed out the rest of qualifying and both times from the completed runs after Hunter-Reay posted the faster of two four-lap qualification runs Saturday, finishing with an average speed of 229.845 on the 2.5-mile oval.

"You just have to wait for it and keep your thoughts cool and calm and collected and get on with the job," he said. "It's not a big deal. It's OK."

Sunday's schedule gives him one chance to requalify at a faster speed. The only other driver to finish a qualifying run was Colombia's Carlos Huertas. He had a four-lap average of 228.235, which temporarily gave Honda a rare chance to celebrate having the top two cars on the starting grid.

Chevrolet has dominated the early part of the season, taking all five poles and winning four of the first five races. The washout, the revised schedule and the high expectations for Pole Day might not help Hunter-Reay.

If weather permits, all drivers, including Huertas and Hunter-Reay, will get one attempt Sunday morning. The top 30 cars will be locked into the 33-car starting grid for the May 24 race with the nine fastest competing in the afternoon pole shootout.

Organizers also have scheduled a 45-minute session to determine the final three starting spots. Thirty-four cars are attempting to make the 33-car field.

The forecast is calling for a 50% chance of rain and temperatures almost 20 degrees warmer than Saturday.

Even worse for Hunter-Reay and the other Honda drivers is that most believe it will take a significantly faster speed this year than last year to win the pole.

In 2014, owner-driver Ed Carpenter went 231.067 to take his second straight pole. Nobody has ever won three consecutive poles at Indy.

The favorites were all running faster than Hunter-Reay in Saturday morning's practice.

Team Penske drivers took four of the top five spots with three-time Indy winner Helio Castroneves leading the way with a best lap of 233.474. The only driver to break up the Penske monopoly was American J.R. Hildebrand, the 2011 Indy runner-up and Carpenter's teammate, who went 232.985.

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