BALTIMORE — Scott Dixon caught a break to take the pole at the Grand Prix of Baltimore.
Graham Rahal appeared poised to advance in the elimination-style qualifying Saturday until his car slammed nose first into a wall of tires.
Rahal emerged from the car shaking his right hand in pain.
"It hurt right when it got hit," Rahal said. "It just got whacked by the wheel."
Race control waved a yellow flag, not a red. That meant Tristan Vautier only slowed down, but did not stop, as he approached Rahal's car. Vautier slammed into the rear of Rahal's car, this time bringing the red flag.
"I didn't get the signal there was a car in the middle of the line," Vautier said. "I slowed down, but not enough."
Rahal lost his best lap time because he was responsible for the damage, opening a spot for Dixon.
Vautier's car was fine and he advanced into the Fast Six.
"It's always better when you start up front for the race, a little less crazy usually," he said. "Hopefully we can keep it clean and have a good race tomorrow."
Rahal tweeted after qualifying his wrist was OK.
"A bit swollen, bruised, and bloody but such is life. Actually broke part of the steering wheel when it hit me!" he wrote.