James Hinchcliffe’s season can only be described one way – a roller coaster ride. The Oakville, Ontario native has three wins, but also has four finishes outside of the top 20.
“It’s been way less consistent than it needs to be said,” Hinchcliffe said of the season coming into Toronto. “I can’t say it’s been a bad year with three wins. I mean, that’s such a huge accomplishment for the team. But we need to have top 10s in between those wins.”
Coming into Toronto, Hinchcliffe was hoping for some good luck. After all, it was hometown event. Though also, he was looking to be bounce back following a lap one crash at Pocono Raceway.
The weekend didn’t go as planned for the driver of the No. 27 Go Daddy IndyCar as he would finish eighth in race one, followed by a 21st place finish in race two. The second race saw Hinchcliffe miss the first three laps of the event due to throttle issues.
“The throttle stuck (on the start) – it’s pretty simple,” Hinchcliffe said. “I was just going through the routine of the standing start, and as soon as I put my thumb on the throttle, it stuck 100 percent, and that was about a minute before they gave the command (to start engines).
“It sucks for everyone that came out today. I was hoping for better in my hometown. But we weren’t going to give up – I wanted to go out, finish the race and get any point we could.”
Going into the weekend, Hinchcliffe was excited as for him, this is where his racing passion started.
“It’s one of my favourite weekends of the year getting to come home,” Hinchcliffe says. “This is what started my passion and got me interested in the sport.”
As a kid, Hinchcliffe came to the Honda Indy Toronto, having only grown up a half hour away from Toronto in Oakville, Ontario. On Thursday before the event, Hinchcliffe spoke with media members in Coronation Park about some of his fond memories.
“I remember being five, six years old and climbing under the grandstands, meeting Mario Andretti and getting his autograph,” Hinchcliffe recalls. “When the cars were at the fuel tank, a little more open and exposed, I’d go stand there. One of the mechanics let me hold a steering wheel – it was one of the coolest things ever.”