Sebastien Bourdais survived a tricky qualifying session at Mid-Ohio to secure his second IndyCar pole position in two weeks.
The Frenchman, who claimed his first post-Champ Car pole and win in Toronto a fortnight ago, triumphed with his final flying lap on a damp but drying track to secure the top spot with a time of 1m24.1610s.
"We had pace earlier this year but got it wrong more often than not," KV driver Bourdais said. "Now, for one reason or another, it is finally going our way.
"I don't know if we'd have had [the pace] in dry conditions in qualifying, but in the wet the car was definitely strong. It was doing everything I wanted it to do."
Until Bourdais came along, the driver to beat had been Sarah Fisher Hartman racer Josef Newgarden, who moved to the top with two minutes remaining.
He too improved his time with his final lap, and although he fell 0.5 seconds short of Bourdais, he will still start Sunday's race from the front row.
Tony Kanaan will start from third, salvaging something from an otherwise frustrating afternoon for Ganassi, which will go into the race with Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Charlie Kimball all starting from the rear of the field.
Dixon and Briscoe were both docked their two fastest times for spinning and causing red flags; a fate that also befell Takuma Sato in the first qualifying segment, and Juan Pablo Montoya in the second.
Carlos Munoz qualified fourth despite serving two drive-through penalties for pitlane speeding, with his Andretti team-mate Ryan Hunter-Reay and Penske's Will Power completing the top six.
Power's team-mate and current points leader Helio Castroneves failed to progress from the second qualifying segment.
Pos Driver Team/Engine Time Gap
1. Sebastien Bourdais KV/Chevy 1m24.1610s
2. Josef Newgarden Fisher/Honda 1m24.6787s +0.5177s
3. Tony Kanaan Ganassi/Chevy 1m25.0290s +0.8680s
4. Carlos Munoz Andretti/Honda 1m25.3111s +1.1501s
5. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti/Honda 1m25.4459s +1.2849s
6. Will Power Penske/Chevy 1m26.1692s +2.0082s
7. Graham Rahal Rahal/Honda 1m33.3244s Round 2
8. Justin Wilson Coyne/Honda 1m33.3948s Round 2
9. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt/Honda 1m33.5587s Round 2
10. Carlos Huertas Coyne/Honda 1m33.6635s Round 2
11. Juan Pablo Montoya Penske/Chevy 1m34.7103s Round 2
12. Mike Conway Carpenter/Chevy 1m34.8194s Round 2
13. Mikhail Aleshin Schmidt/Honda 1m39.4755s Group 1
14. Sebastian Saavedra KV/Chevy 1m39.0743s Group 2
15. Helio Castroneves Penske/Chevy 1m39.8694s Group 1
16. Marco Andretti Andretti/Honda 1m39.8368s Group 2
17. James Hinchcliffe Andretti/Honda 1m41.5197s Group 1
18. Jack Hawksworth Herta/Honda 1m40.0797s Group 2
19. Ryan Briscoe Ganassi/Chevy Group 1
20. Charlie Kimball Ganassi/Chevy 1m40.8624s Group 2
21. Takuma Sato Foyt/Honda Group 1
22. Scott Dixon Ganassi/Chevy Group 2
All drivers use Dallara chassis