|(l-r) Sam Schmidt, James Hinchcliffe and Ric Peterson|
celebrate the Indy 500 pole
credit: IndyCar Media/Leigh Spargur
A year ago, James Hinchcliffe watched the Indy 500 as an outsider after a terrifying accident during practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In 2016, Hinchcliffe has come full circle, taming Indy and collecting his first career pole position, which comes in the historic 100th running of the Indy 500.
“I came into this month hoping we would have a new story to talk about after what happened last year, and I think we did it,” said Hinchclifffe just moments after clinching P1. He edged out Josef Newgarden with his four-lap average of 230.760 mph bringing a loud roar from the stands at The Brickyard at the checkered flag.
“The Arrow Electronics car was just an absolute smoke show out there; it was right on the edge,” said Hinchcliffe. “Allen McDonald, all my engineers, did such a great job…these guys worked so hard. Three Schmidt Peterson Motorsports cars in the top 10? It’s incredible. Now we’ve got the best seat in the house for the start of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. ”
Hinchcliffe’s parents were right in the middle of the pole celebration, and he was proud to share the moment with his two biggest fans.
“A year ago, they came here for a very different reason,” said Hinchliffe. “They were out of the country when I had my accident last year. I can’t imagine what that plane trip must have been like for them. (This year) Mom moved in on May 1. She said she wasn’t missing a single minute on track action just in case I tried to kill myself again and luckily that wasn’t the case. We’re here. These two have been everything in my life and my career. I couldn’t have done any of it without them.”
The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 takes place Sunday, May 29. Keep up with the action at www.indycar.com, and follow Hinchcliffe at www.hinchtown.com.
Quotes in this piece provided by Torchia Communications.