Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Canadian Hinchcliffe wins IndyCar in Iowa

  • Print

NEWTON, Iowa -- Andretti Autosport has long been the team to beat at Iowa Speedway.

On Sunday, Toronto's James Hinchcliffe put an exclamation point on Andretti's dominance there with the best race of his career.

Hinchcliffe cruised to victory in the IndyCar Series race, leading all but 24 of 250 laps. He became the first three-time winner this season and gave Andretti Autosport its fourth consecutive victory at Iowa's .875-mile oval, the shortest track on the circuit.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, Hinchcliffe's teammate, battled back from last place to finish second. He was followed by Tony Kanaan, Ed Carpenter and Graham Rahal.

Hinchcliffe took the lead on the opening lap and ceded control only briefly during pit stops. He joined Kanaan, Marco Andretti and Hunter-Reay as Iowa winners for Andretti Autosport since 2010.

But none of those runs was as dominant as the one Hinchcliffe put together this time around.

"I've watched guys win races like this on TV, and my whole career I thought 'I just don't get it. How do they do that?' I've never been in that position. And now I know. You have to have a hell of a good car. You have to have a hell of a good crew and just hit your marks all afternoon long," Hinchcliffe said. "Man, it feels good to do it like that."

Now the next step for Hinchcliffe is consistency.

Despite earning his first three career wins this season, Hinchcliffe is 66 points behind series leader Helio Castroneves because of five finishes of 15th or lower.

"He's been either feast or famine. He either wins or he has problems. But he knows he's capable of winning," said team owner Michael Andretti. "If he can hopefully get through all his problems and continue to do what he's doing, he has a good shot at a championship."

Series leader Helio Castroneves was eighth. His lead over Hunter-Reay was cut to nine points -- the exact number Castroneves earned Saturday by winning the pole through heat qualifying races.

"We drove as hard as we could. When they told me I came in eighth, I was like 'What?' I certainly felt we had a better car than that," Castroneves said.

It was clear from the opening lap that nobody had a better car than the No. 27 of Hinchcliffe.

He immediately grabbed control of the race from Will Power, who counts just one oval among his 18 series victories. Power fell behind by as much as a lap midway through the race and finished 17th.

Hinchcliffe also held off a furious challenge from Rahal off a restart about 90 laps from the finish. Though Rahal technically took the lead for a lap, Hinchcliffe hung on to the low groove, running side-by-side with Rahal, before bursting clear.

Hinchcliffe had only led 99 laps in his three-year IndyCar career before Sunday. He surpassed that total less than halfway through the race.

"We got (Power) on lap one there and really never looked back. The car was solid," Hinchcliffe said. "When we needed it, the car was awesome. We were fast up front by ourselves. We were good in traffic."

Hunter-Reay fell behind Castroneves by 25 points on Saturday after a poor showing during the qualifying heats. It only got worse for Hunter-Reay roughly 40 laps in when he rear-ended Rahal, forcing his team to change out his front wing. But he scrambled from the back for an impressive podium finish.

"It was a really good day for points, to finish second after being dead last, and just (Saturday) we had the nightmare of a day," Hunter-Reay said. "It's a bummer when you have that good of a car to finish second. But considering we came from the back of the pack to finish second in such a tight field, I have to be happy about that. Somewhat pleased, I should say."

The series next runs at Pocono Raceway, but not before a much-needed break. IndyCar will take next weekend off, its first true break since late April, before returning to Pocono on July 7, ending a 23-year hiatus from that track.

Though it's been decades since the series has run there, it'll be hard to bet against Andretti.

The team has now won five of 10 races in 2013. It also boasts three serious championship contenders in Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Hinchcliffe, all of whom are right behind Castroneves.

"Guys like Helio, with his experience and everything, is going to be really difficult. He's going to make it go right down to the wire, I can assure you. But it's always nice to have more than one bullet in the gun. And right now, we have three real legitimate shots at winning a championship," Michael Andretti said.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 24, 2013 C10

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Key of Bart: God Rest Ye Premier Selinger

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 101130-Winnipeg Free Press Columns of light reach skyward to the stars above Sanford Mb Tuesday night. The effect is produced by streetlights refracting through ice crystals suspended in the air on humid winter nights. Stand Up.....
  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project. Baby peregrine falcons. 21 days old. Three baby falcons. Born on ledge on roof of Radisson hotel on Portage Avenue. Project Coordinator Tracy Maconachie said that these are third generation falcons to call the hotel home. Maconachie banded the legs of the birds for future identification as seen on this adult bird swooping just metres above. June 16, 2004.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who would you like to see the Bombers hire as defensive co-ordinator?

View Results

Ads by Google