NEWTON, IA – It took a while to get Saturday turned Sunday’s rain delayed Iowa 300 at the Iowa Speedway going, but when it did, we were treated to 300 thrilling laps around the .894-mile bullring.
James Hinchcliffe was one of the drivers that stood out on Saturday night as he started his No. 5 Honda up front and remained there for the entire night. While he did fall back to seventh at the start, he rebounded to steadily improve as the night went on.
Hinchcliffe, had great pit strategy by his Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports crew all evening and found himself battling inside of the top five in the final half of the race. In fact, when Ed Carpenter crashed to bring out the final caution of the night with 36 laps-to-go, Hinchcliffe would restart third.
A couple of laps after the restart, Hinchcliffe got by Simon Pagenaud for second. From then on, it was a battle to try and catch race leader Josef Newgarden while also trying to hold off a hard charging Scott Dixon. The Canadian, didn’t have the fresh tires like Dixon did to hold him back long.
Dixon, had 15 lap fresher tires and would get by Hinchcliffe with just over 10 to go. From then on, Hinchcliffe kept his car out of trouble and would hang on for a second straight Iowa podium and finish third in the 300 Lap race.
“We started inside the top five, which was good,” said Hinchcliffe. “Had a lot of really good battles on track; we raced really hard with Spencer (Pigot), which was a lot of fun. There was a lot of close calls out there. The cars changed a lot as the track kind of rubbered in. Went loose, push, it was a little bit of everything; dirty air, clean air. The second lane came in nicely at the end, so the racing was good. I want to thank everybody at Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, the No. 5 car was stout – it’s nice to be back on the podium. Big time thanks to the fans for staying out here through the weather; I hope you guys enjoyed the show.”
It was also Hinchcliffe’s sixth consecutive top 10 finish here and his third straight on the season. With all the speed that his car has shown lately, it’s a matter of when, not if, Hinchcliffe gets to victory lane in 2019.