The tension surrounding Texas Motor Speedway began in the offseason, when drivers still reeling from the death of Dan Wheldon publicly questioned the compatibility of IndyCar and high-banked ovals.
It's led to a conflict between a track promoter who has been a longtime IndyCar supporter and the stars of the series. When the checkered flag falls Saturday night, it could be the final time for IndyCar.
Texas has hosted 23 previous IndyCar races dating back to 1997.
At issue right now is safety concerns stemming from Wheldon's fatal October accident at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner was ultimately killed when his head hit a post in the Las Vegas fence, although the style of pack racing on a high-banked oval led to his car going airborne.
Alex Tagliani won the pole for the IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Tagliani turned a lap at 215.691 mph late in Friday's qualifying session to bump Dario Franchitti from the top starting spot. Franchitti went 215.646 to qualify second.
Graham Rahal qualified third and Scott Dixon was fourth to give Honda the top four qualifying spots for Saturday night's race. Spots two through four were claimed by drivers from Chip Ganassi Racing.
IndyCar series points leader Will Power qualified fifth as the highest Chevrolet.
The drivers were split headed into Friday night's final practice session over the downforce limits set by IndyCar. IndyCar decreased the downforce to try to break up the pack racing, and half the drivers felt it made the cars too hard to drive.