ELKHART LAKE, Wis – James Hinchcliffe is extra happy to be back in his No. 5 Honda this weekend. See, race car drivers like to race and be in their cars, so to have a week off after five straight weeks in his Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entry including four races in three weeks, he’s smiling from ear to ear.
But, that’s not the only reason. See, the popular Canadian driver gets to race around Road America this weekend. That’s something that gets him giddy. This place holds a new found special place in his heart too.
“Very excited,” said Hinchcliffe. “When they announced a few years ago that this track was coming back on the calendar, I think everybody was thrilled to hear it. It’s a favorite among the drivers certainly, and among teams, among fans, it’s such a great event.
“It was the first place that I got to get back into an IndyCar after my accident in 2015, so special memories there as well.”
Also, Hinchcliffe, 32, feels like he has a car to compete for the win in Sunday’s REV Group Grand Prix at Road America (12 p.m. ET/NBC/INDYCAR Radio Network). His car has been phenomenal lately. The results though haven’t been indicative on how strong that they’ve really been.
“We’ve had good runs the past two weeks, just haven’t gotten the results to show for it,” Hinchcliffe continued. “Running for the win in Detroit, battling against the front runners, the top three in Texas, and unfortunately, just don’t have the finishes yet. The speed’s there, though. That’s the hard part. If we can just keep executing like that and keep putting fast race cars on the racetrack, we can be up front, and there’s no reason we can’t do that here this weekend.”
Hinchcliffe, finished 10th in this race last year. It’s also not like his teammates haven’t had good cars lately either.
Jack Harvey finished third in the INDYCAR Grand Prix in his No. 60 Honda. Marcus Ericsson was runner-up in the second race in Belle Isle and seventh a week later in Texas.
Hinchcliffe himself started 32nd for the Indy 500 but didn’t spend much time there. He charged up to a 11th place finish. He was ninth in the first Duel in Detroit and the only reason he was 18th in the second race was because he was involved in an incident while trying to hold off Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi after coming out of pit road. He was in the lead at that point and was in the drivers seat, pun intended, to win that day.
In Texas, he had a top three car but crashed out towards the end.
The speed is there for SPM. Hinch sees it and knows this could be the weekend to win.