Early Season Talk With The Mayor, James Hinchcliffe, Before #TGPLB43
James Hinchcliffe drives the No. 5 Honda for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
He has four IndyCar wins to date and captured his first career pole at the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 in May 2016, just one year after his season-ending accident. This is amazing since he suffered life-threatening injuries in a practice crash for the 2015 Indianapolis 500 which ended his season after only five races.
Driving in the pinnacle of American open-wheel racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series since 2011, he has participated in 82 races, and has managed to be in the top 10 in 60 of these contests, finishing in the top 5 20 times, or roughly a 25% top competition return rate, every time he steps into the cockpit - which is pretty awesome in anyone's book.
James has also driven at the top level in full-bodied sports cars driving most recently in the Rolex24 at Daytona for Mazda in endurance team racing where drivers assigned to a car take turns at the wheel throughout a 24 hour period.
Off the track he is known by the social media moniker as "The Mayor Of Hinchtown", where he commands a community of friends who love to follow James as he pursues his many varied interests in life - Racing, Sponsor Events, Dancing With The Stars competition - where he was runner-up, a brewer of his namesake Hinchtown Hammerdown Ale, a craft beer from Flat12 Bierwerks in Indianapolis. This was originally brewed only during the month of May in Indianapolis, as a promotion, but now is available year-round across Indiana, Kentucky and his native Ontario, Canada, and to top this, he is an avid collector of guitars and lighters where he boasts a collection of lighters dating back to the 1930s.
WELCOME 30 year old professional race car driver from Oakville, Ontario Canada - a suburb just East of Toronto, James Hinchcliffe ...
First, tell us a little about Arrow Electronics and some of the background behind your overall sponsorship for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season.
After, what seemed like an eternity, the Verizon IndyCar Series came back into action with the first race of the 2017 season with the trditional opening race at St. Petersburg where you qualified P3 behind Will Power and Scott Dixon and finsihed P9. Tell us about your thinking and what you learned in the pre-season practices and then with the race at St. Pete - racing in the NEW Honda package.
We are going into the second race of the season at the rites of spring event on the West coast in Long Beach. Another temporary street course with great history over the 42 previous years that it has run. In the six previous years that you have run the race, you were able to get on the podium once, and register to 10's 3 times counting the podium - What are your impressions of this venue and what will it take to hit the podium again?
At the end of the month, the springtime swing to the Southwest becomes complete with a second race in the modern era at Phoenix International Raceway. This is the first dedicated oval on the schedule before going into the Month Of May at Indianapolis. Being a short 1 mile, low-banked tri-oval race track, how do you see the new Honda package will be able to fare given that the highest placing Honda last year was the one driven by Graham Rahal at P5?
Is it your impression that the Hondas are getting out of the corner a bit better - what is the reason you see as the strength of the Honda surge?
You went to the Rolex24 at Daytona and drove in one of the new Mazda Prototypes, tell me a little about your impressions about the car and the effort - change in development through driving.
Lastly, civic leaders of a community usually start out the year with a proclamation or two on what they would like to accomplish in the community during the coming year - As the mayor of Hinchtown, what proclamations did you issue and communicate to the hordes of Hinchtown - on, or off the track.
Thanks James - best of luck at the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach, Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix, the Month Of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as well as the rest of the year ending in wine country at Sonoma.
... notes from The EDJE
TAGS: Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach, James Hinchcliffe, No. 5, Honda, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, HPD, #TGPLB43, The EDJE