By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
James Hinchcliffe returned to the scene of the crime to score a third-place finish in the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on Saturday.
Almost one year ago the Canadian encountered a suspension failure while practicing in preparation for the Indianapolis 500. The mechanical issue was nearly fatal for Hinchcliffe, but after a long season spent on the sidelines he returned to the cockpit of the No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda for the start of the 2016 season.
Hinchcliffe started the day from third and battled with eventual race winner Simon Pagenaud early on before pit strategy shook up the front of the field. The Canadian maintained his focus as newcomers Helio Castroneves and Conor Daly joined in the party at the front.
In the closing stages of the race, the 29-year-old began to close on the frontrunners. With 11 laps to go, Hinchcliffe moved past Daly to take the final podium spot and shine a bright spot in his return to Indianapolis.
Hinchcliffe thought there may have been a chance to score a runner-up result, but admitted that getting to Castroneves was too tall of a task with so few laps left at the end.
“It was great to be able to push and not have to save fuel. That yellow in the middle there kind of really helped everybody because the windows here were pretty small up to that point. We had a great car. Huge credit to everybody at Schmidt Peterson. The Arrow Electronics car was great all weekend.
“Missed the whole first practice. Managed to put it on the second row. Got caught up on some of the restarts there but the guys were awesome in the pits. We were way quicker than Helio but just didn’t have enough to get by him. Great result.”
Image: Matthew Bishop/Tribute Racing