By just 0.06 seconds, the Schmidt Peterson Motorsport-Honda driver beat Josef Newgarden of Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet, who was a similar distance ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport-Honda.
Hinchcliffe's four laps were 230.885, 230.940, 230.765 and 230.450 producing an average of 230.760mph. Newgarden's quickest was 231.551 but slowest was 230.227, producing an average of 230.700.
It is Hinchcliffe's first pole in the IndyCar Series, after starting second eight times, including twice here at the Indy Motor Speedway. It also came five years to the day since Schmidt Peterson Motorsports' last pole here, set by Alex Tagliani in 2011. Remarkably, it also marked Honda's first pole position in IndyCar competition since Houston in 2014, 31 races ago.
Hunter-Reay was 230.648 to be fastest Andretti driver, edging Townsend Bell and Carlos Munoz – all with averages beyond 230mph.
Fastest Penske-Chevrolet was Will Power, who will start the 500 from the outside of the second row, while the second SPM car of Mikhail Aleshin beat the other two Penske drivers in the shootout, runaway IndyCar points leader Simon Pagenaud and four-time Indy pole-sitter and three-time winner Helio Castroneves.