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Defending 500 champion Tony Kanaan will start 16th.
Hinchcliffe appeared to have no problems in the car days after he was cleared to return for his concussion. He paced as he watched Carpenter make his final run, then his chance at the pole end when Carpenter found more speed on his final lap.
He was injured last weekend in Saturday’s Grand Prix when debris from Justin Wilson’s car flew into the cockpit, striking Hinchcliffe in the head. He was taken away from the track on a stretcher, transported to a hospital and diagnosed with a concussion.
The 27-year old Canadian was cleared to drive Thursday, and took the wheel back from pinch-driver E.J. Viso.
"I had to kind of pretend that I had been here all month and take the feedback my teammates had given me at face value," Hinchcliffe said. "I knew what to expect from the car and that was a huge part of it."
For the first time, IndyCar awarded points based on qualifying runs. The top qualifier on Saturday earned 33 points, second place got 32 and so on, all the way to one point for the 33rd-place entrant.
The pole winner earned another nine points Sunday, decreasing to one point for the ninth-place starter.
Carpenter, a Butler University alum, is an avid Indiana Pacers fan and couldn’t wait to watch them play the Miami Heat in the playoffs.
"Racers and Pacers right now," he said. "So go Pacers, beat the Heat."
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