Sato circled the street course in 1 minute, 0.01 seconds in Saturday's rain-delayed qualifying session to put his A.J. Foyt Racing entry out front. It was a stellar debut for Honda and its new twin turbo engine.
Tony Kanaan qualified second, 0.2951 seconds behind the Japanese driver. Kanaan will be making his debut Sunday for Target/Chip Ganassi Racing.
Ryan Hunter-Reay was third and followed by Will Power, who had won the pole the last four consecutive years.
Defending IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon was fifth and Marco Andretti rounded out the Fast Six.
Juan Pablo Montoya failed to advance out of his group in his first qualifying session in IndyCar.
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