Arie Luyendyk made the right decision Saturday and completed a qualifying run that put him on the Indianapolis 500 pole for the second time.

Luyendyk, the fastest driver each day since practice opened earlier this week, turned a lap over 220 mph on Wednesday. Nobody had come closer than 3 mph to that target as the first of four days of qualifications for the May 25 race dawned.But, after completing three of four qualifying laps on Saturday, Luyendyk's speed was just over 218 and appeared vulnerable, with Tony Stewart, his closest rival, waiting to make an attempt.

Luyendyk, the 1990 Indy winner, turned a lap over 219 in Saturday morning's practice. But so did Stewart.

"The call was up to me coming out of turn four on the last lap to decide if we were going to keep the run," Luyendyk said. "I had made up in my mind that if I could run above 218 that I would keep it."

The gamble paid off.

Luyendyk won $110,000 as he turned in four consecutive laps above 218 mph and averaged 218.263 for the 10 miles, a speed that was barely acceptable to the Dutchman but put his Treadway Racing G Force-Aurora on top.

"It's too bad I couldn't get into the 19s on this qualifying run," Luyendyk said. "But you have to say to yourself sometimes, `OK, that's it. That's all I'm going to get out of it on this particular run. So I'll just take it."'

Twenty-one drivers, including five rookies, made it into the tentative 33-car starting field on Saturday. Time trials will continue Sunday and both days next weekend, with faster qualifiers bumping out the slowest cars once the field is filled.

There was a brief flurry of qualifying when the session opened at 11 a.m., with five drivers completing runs. But that was followed by several hours of practice time as teams worked on finding more speed.

Surprisingly, Luyendyk was the first driver to get the qualifying going again, taking to the track at 3:25 p.m. in the hottest part of the sunny afternoon.

"We found out during the week that in the warmer conditions you run quicker," Luyendyk said. "So that's why we decided to go out when the track temperatures were still up."

Luyendyk set the one- and four-lap qualifying records of 237.498 and 236.986 last year in a year-old Reynard with a turbocharged Ford engine. But the IRL mandated all new chassis and non-turbocharged engines this year, which has brought down the speed considerably.

"With these new cars that have less downforce, the cars don't feel as planted through the turns," Luyendyk said. "The old cars made you feel you just had more grip through the turns. They just gave you more confidence. . . . This car is quite difficult to set up and get to handle well."

Stewart, who started from the pole last year and was rookie of the year, couldn't quite overtake Luyendyk, taking the middle of the front row at 218.021 in an Aurora-powered G Force.