Schmidt Peterson Motorsports James Hinchcliffe in the No.5 Arrow Electronics Honda was left disappointed following a ninth place finish in Sunday’s Verizon IndyCar Series season opening Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg.
Having started the race from third place on the grid, the Mayor of HinchTown made a great start jumping into second place of the start before the safety car came out on the opening lap as a result of Graham Rahal and Charlie Kimball’s accident. At the restart, Hinch was extremely quick and took the lead for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Unfortunately for the Mayor and his No.5 crew they ended the race in ninth place and speaking following the event, Hinchcliffe commented by saying:
Honestly a pretty disappointing result. We started on the inside of Row 2, got a good start and slipped into second. Did well on the restart and led pretty much the entire first stint. We had a bit of a tire advantage – we started on the sticker Firestone reds, other guys were on used tires – but from there everything kind of unraveled. The yellow caught us off guard; a bunch of the guys behind us had already pitted, so that kind of put us behind the eight ball. As the race went on, the track wasn’t coming to us as it normally does, so unfortunately it all kind of went wrong for us after the start. A lot to be happy for, a lot of positives though like the pace of the Arrow Electronics Honda. There’s not a whole lot you can do about the way the yellow flags fall – that was a tough break. I think we would have had a solid top five if it wasn’t for that, and that’s something we can build off of heading into Long Beach.
Hinch led the race for 21 laps and pitted under yellow means that he fell down the order. Following his ninth place finish, the Mayor of HinchTown heads to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach next month in ninth place in the series standings on 23 points.