James Hinchcliffe wins IndyCar opener
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA (BDCi) — James Hinchcliffe, the Canadian driver poised to become the next great IndyCar driver, grabbed his first career victory Sunday.
Fittingly it came at St Petersburg, the adopted hometown of the late Dan Wheldon, the driver who signed to drive the Go Daddy car for Andretti AutoSport shortly before his death in the 2011 season finale at Las Vegas.
The open seat then went to Hinchcliffe, who drove the bright green No.27 to victory in front of Wheldon’s wife and two children.
“This is his hometown; this is his car,” said Hinchcliffe, who will be added to the Wheldon monument unveiled Thursday at turn 10 on the course. “Knowing my face will be on that memorial, that’s really special.”
Hinchcliffe passed Helio Castroneves on the final restart to take the lead and held on to win by 1.09 seconds. He became the first Canadian to win since Paul Tracy’s 2007 win at Cleveland in the CART series.
Marco Andretti finished third followed by Tony Kanaan, Scott Dixon and Simona de Silvestro.