Asked what NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Kurt Busch (who qualified in 12th position) had brought to the Andretti operation this year, Hinchcliffe quipped: "Normally throwing stuff and cussing a lot!
"No, no, no, that's clearly a Kurt of old," he added quickly. "The guy that we've had has just been awesome. It's been really cool seeing somebody with as much racing knowledge and experience as he has but still seeing it from an outsider's perspective.
"He actually brought a lot to the table in that respect," Hinchcliffe continued. "His car physics and aerodynamics is stellar. He's been receptive to what we've been saying, asking a lot of questions. He's done a phenomenal job, he really has. It's exciting, been fun working with him."
Hinchcliffe said that in the circumstances it was "tough to be upset" to be upset about not quite having enough to dethrone Ed Carpenter from pole position. Instead, Hinch will be starting from the middle of the front row, with current Verizon IndyCar Series points leader Will Power on the inside.
"It's definitely a good place to start," said Power after the end of qualifying. "The further up you are, the better you are. The further inside you are, the better you are. Good starting place. Very long race. Very interesting style of racing, different to any other racing we have all year with the way the draft works. Just have to make sure we run well in traffic and put ourselves in a position at the end of Sunday to win that thing.
"The only thing that sucks about a front row start and not getting pole is that you have got to be here at 7am for a photo!" the Penske driver laughed. "I thought it was going to be the one day I'd get to sleep in."
After they're done with their traditional front row portraits, Hinchcliffe and Power along with Ed Carpenter will join the other 30 drivers in one final full day of practice on Monday focussing on race trim, a new innovation this year where normally there would be no further significant track time available until the drop of the green flag to start the Indy 500.
"There isn't a car out there that can't win it," Power said when asked who could win next week's race. "That's the big difference now. The whole field is going to start on the front stretch and the whole field is going to finish on the front stretch. On the last laps they're all going to be there because it doesn't matter, no one can get away.
"I just want to have a good finish here. A good finish is a win really. That's all that counts here. Fifth has been my best result - I just want to have a good day."