EDMONTON -- Ryan Hunter-Reay qualified first for Sunday's Edmonton Indy, but won't start on pole due to a 10-spot grid penalty for an unapproved engine change.
Hunter-Reay, the IndyCar series leader, completed the 2.2-mile, 13-turn circuit in the fastest time of one minute 17.23 seconds in the final qualifying session on a wet track at the City Centre Airport.
Dario Franchitti qualified second and Ryan Briscoe was third on Saturday, putting those two drivers on the front row for the race.
Alex Tagliani of Lachenaie, Que., was fifth while James Hinchcliffe of Oakville, Ont., was 12th.
The final starting spots can still change before the race if any other teams in the 25-car field change out engines and incur the grid penalties.
Hunter-Reay's team changed out their Chevrolet engine after the Toronto Indy two weeks ago, incurring the 10-spot penalty for replacing a motor before the 1,850-mile limit.
The 31-year-old Andretti Autosport driver is going for his fourth consecutive win in Edmonton.
Will Power, just 35 points behind Hunter-Reay in second place in the standings, wasted a golden opportunity in qualifying to finish first and gain a substantial advantage over his rival on race day.
Power posted the fasted time of qualifying before rain hit the track at 1:15.9508. He was later eliminated in the second of three qualifying sessions and will start seventh.
A field of 25 cars will driver 75 laps.