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Indy 500: Hinchcliffe bounces back to front row

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."

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Related Pictures

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Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 had the fifth fastest four-lap average of 230.323 mph Saturday, May 17, 2014 during the first day of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on May 25 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Power and the eight other fastest drivers will compete for pole position on Sunday. (Photo by F. Peirce Williams for Chevy Racing)
Will Power in his car prior to qualifying (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power (Photo by: Tim Holle for IndyCar Media)
Will Power during the post-qualifying press conference (Photo by: Dana Garrett for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe climbs into the #27 Andretti Autosport car for practice on Friday. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Ed Carpenter and James Hinchcliffe compare notes (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe in the post-qualifying press conference (Photo by: Dana Garrett for IndyCar Media)
Bryan Herta Autosport 2015 Indy 500 entry sponsored by Green1. (Picture Credit: Bryan Herta Autosport)
Will Power celebrates with his team after winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates with his team owner Roger Penske after winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates with his wife Liz after winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Team Chevy sweeps the podium as Tony Kanaan (center), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Saturday, August 30, 2014, during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Teammate Scott Dixon (left), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes second, and Ed Carpenter, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes third. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg EllmanLAT for Chevy Racing)

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