Marco Andretti had been unable to find the scintillating form that had seen him go to the top of the timesheets the previous day and had to settle for fourth place behind his team mates instead.
"I guess you're never really happy. You can be happy with a car one day and roll off the next day and lose a mile an hour. We'll go back to the drawing board and try to figure out how to get it back," he said. "I'm not sure where we lost that mile an hour. We have to check the boost or something. It just wasn't pulling the RPMs."
Marco will join the other two Penske cars on the second row for the start of the Indy 500, with Will Power having a trouble-free but relatively unspectacular run to fifth place ahead of the slightly frustrated and disappointed Helio Castroneves.
"It was probably one of the best runs we've had, I didn't expect to be that quick," insisted Power. "The Andretti guys are very fast."
"With this format, you've got to keep finding a little bit and working hopefully to put ourselves in a good position to battle for the front row," added Castroneves. "It's not going to be easy. It's going to be decided not on the second decimal, but the third one.
"This is probably the toughest one because you have a long day," he added. "I guess every time you have that kind of excitement, it's normal. It's tiring, but it's exciting, the same way. I love the entire month here ... I wish we had every race like this."
On a day that was a general triumph for Chevrolet, the only Honda-powered car to get through to the final pole shootout was Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing's Josef Newgarden, and having done so he decided that discretion was the better part of valour. His only appearance in the fast nine was a comparatively gentle tour of 224.037mph (2:40.6879s) to fulfil his session obligations without risk before settling for seventh.
"We went out and did our run," he said of the faster earlier lap that had put him in the pole shootout. "It was a little hairy. I definitely wanted to abandon the run at some point, but you have to keep with it. That's how it is around this place in qualifying, and it's a little bit hairy some times."
The two KV Racing Technology drivers who had made it into the pole shootout - Tony Kanaan and EJ Viso - had much the same idea and put in merely installation laps, joining Newgarden on the third row for the start of the race. Kanaan was lucky to bounce back after having had his first qualifying run deleted for the #11 car being underweight.
"We get stronger when we have mistakes like this happening, and we get back together," said Kanaan. "If there is no drama for me, it is never fun. I guess I keep continuing with my legacy here of the drama!"