Rain canceled Friday's qualifying run, so his position was based on practice times. Coates is a cast member of the FX drama, "Sons of Anarchy."
Fredric Aasbo, the 2010 Formula Drift Rookie of the Year, was awarded the pole position among the race's four professional drivers, who start 30 seconds behind the celebrity field.
In spite of the rainy weather, people still turned out in large numbers for day one of the three-day event.
In addition to the celebrity race, qualifying for Sunday's IndyCar Series and Indy Lights races will be held on Saturday.
That's followed by the ALMS race and a concert from the rock group Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.