Last year, both James Hinchcliffe and his teammate Robert Wickens gave the home fans something to cheer for. Wickens, finished on the podium in his first ever start on his home track. Hinchcliffe, finished one spot behind him in fourth. It was the third straight year though that we saw a Canadian finish on the third step of the podium in Toronto.
Hinchcliffe, finished third in each of the two years prior in 2016 and again in 2017. Unfortunately, Wickens won’t be racing this weekend and Hinchcliffe is the only Canuck in the field. Can he carry the flag figuratively and literally to a fourth straight podium for a Canadian driver in Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto (3:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN/INDYCAR Radio Network)?
“I’m obviously thrilled to be headed back to Toronto for the next race,” said Hinchcliffe. “This event made me fall in love with IndyCar when I was a kid, and getting to go back there every year is such a privilege. The No. 5 Arrow team has had great pace for several races in a row, we just need that end result to come together, and I can’t think of a better place for that to happen than Toronto. We’ve had podiums and top fives there recently, but we need to make that jump to the top step. After what the Raptors did, I want to bring another big win to the city! #WeTheNorth”
Hinchcliffe, has three straight top four finishes and three top 10’s in four tries on street courses in 2019 too. The only reason he’s not 4-for-4 is because he was involved in a mid race incident in Belle Isle 2 while trying to defend his position on cold tires while coming out of pit lane.
See, at that point of the race, Hinchcliffe exit pit road in front of both Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi. If he could hold them off past the Turn 3 and 4 sequence, then he’d be in prime position to win the thing. Unfortunately, Newgarden and Rossi knew that too and both made a move to get by Hinch as well as each other.
All three tangled which sent Hinchcliffe and Newgarden into the tire barriers.
Hinchcliffe’s car that day was much better than the 18th place finish that he had.