By just a wiggle Sunday, Ed Carpenter became the 11th back-to-back pole winner in Indianapolis 500 history.
Carpenter capitalized on James Hinchcliffe's last-lap bobble in Turn 3 to earn the No. 1 starting spot for next week's race.
"We just had to crack the throttle a bit, and that was enough," Hinchcliffe said. "That will haunt me for a long time."
Carpenter's speed average over four laps was 231.067 mph. Hinchcliffe was clocked at 230.839 mph.
Carpenter owns his Indianapolis-based team, Ed Carpenter Racing. He is the stepson of Tony George, a member of the Hulman-George family that owns Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"It's incredible," Carpenter said. "It was a lot harder than last year."
Carpenter follows Helio Castroneves (2009-10) as a repeat Indy 500 pole winner.
"I think we knew (what was coming)," Hinchcliffe said of Carpenter. "Ed was quickest (in Saturday's first qualifying session), so we all thought we were running for second anyway."
Hinchcliffe's front-row start for Andretit Autosport is noteworthy because eight days ago he suffered a concussion in the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis, the first Verizon IndyCar Series race at IMS. The debris from Justin Wilson's front wing struck the Toronto-area native in the helmet, knocking him out of practice for five days.
Hinchcliffe got eight laps of practice Friday, nine more on Saturday. But he is on his game at the right time of the month.
Kurt Busch, who is also driving for the Andretti team, wasn't in contention for the pole as the No. 10 qualifier on Saturday, but he returned from Saturday night's NASCAR all-star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he finished 11th.
Busch will start 12th after qualifying at 230.782 mph.
Juan Pablo Montoya had the second-fastest car of Sunday's time trials, but he was relegated to competing for the 10th starting spot. That's where the 2000 Indy 500 champion will start after running 231.007 mph.
Montoya's Team Penske teammate, Will Power, will join Carpenter and Hinchcliffe on the front row. The second row will be led by Team Penske's Helio Castroneves, who will be shooting for his record-tying fourth 500 victory. Simon Pagenaud of Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports and Marco Andretti of Andretti Autosport round out the second row.
The third row will have last year's runner-up, Carlos Munoz of Andretti Autosport, along with Josef Newgarden of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing and JR Hildebrand of Ed Carpenter Racing.
Hildebrand drove the car Carpenter put on the pole last year, and the speed was similar, which was a disappointment. Hildebrand ran 230.027 mph on Saturday, but he could manage only 228.726 mph this time. Only four cars ran slower on Sunday.
The new qualifying format guaranteed that Hildebrand will start ninth because he had earned a spot in the Fast Nine.
Montoya's run made him the fastest of the Penske drivers, but he wasn't surprised. He felt he was on Saturday, too.
"I felt I had the fastest car (from the team), but the speed wasn't there yesterday," Montoya said. "In hindsight, I think we were too conservative."
NOTES: Sam Schmidt, a three-time Indianapolis 500 starter who became a quadriplegic in a 2000 crash, became the first semi-autonomous driver in IMS history Sunday. He drove a modified 2014 Corvette C7 Stingray, with a speed of 97 mph. "There isn't one word to describe it," the 49-year-old Verizon IndyCar Series team owner said. "It's exhilarating, it's unbelievable, it's amazingly normal, (and) that's the biggest thing. It just felt natural, and that was the biggest surprise." ... The new qualifying procedure that had been criticized before the event began was mostly praised by competitors. "As a fan and a person working in the sport, I thought it was really exciting," Juan Pablo Montoya said. ... Saturday's crowd was limited due to cold conditions, but IMS got a strong turnout Sunday as sun and blue skies blanked the facility.