Schmidt Peterson Motorsports James Hinchcliffe in the No.5 Arrow Electronics Honda started Sunday’s 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil from pole position and led the race at various stages swapping top spot with Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter Reay on several occasions.
A slow pit-stop in the middle of the race meant that the Mayor of HinchTown would have close the gap to the leaders which he did coming home in seventh place just ahead of reigning series champion Scott Dixon and just behind JR Hildebrand for Ed Carpenter Racing.
Speaking following the race Hinch commented by saying:
I have to give everybody on the Arrow crew a ton of credit for the effort the entire month, Coming in third at the GP of Indy, qualifying on the pole and the race here, it was a solid effort. We were super strong the first half and definitely had one of the cars to beat. It was really just track temperatures that caught us out there. We started losing grip as the temperatures came up late in the afternoon and the last two stints were a real struggle when we tried to make the tires last. Well, more than a stint because we came in for that splash of fuel at the end.
Hinchcliffe went on to say:
“A couple guys out there took a punt on fuel – congrats to Alex and great to see Honda back on top. Realistically, I think we had a third- or fourth-place effort today, which is nothing to turn your nose up at.
Mikhail Aleshin endured a tough day on track. The Russian started the race in 7th place but on lap 114/200 he made contact with the wall finishing the race in 27th place and speaking afterwards he said:
The DOOM and SMP Racing car was pretty good through all the stints, We were up front, but then something went wrong in turn one and I’m not sure what it was. I just lost control of the rear of the car and I couldn’t do anything. It just went suddenly. After we repaired the car, it still didn’t seem fine. I think we just need to go back, check everything and go to Detroit. The guys did an amazing job all month and I thank them a lot. Also, I think the pit competition shows how competitive this team is. We were good during the tests, practices and qualifying. We had a little bit but just not enough this time.
Oriol Servia who was driving the No.77 Honda started the race in 10th place and went on to finish in 12th, speaking following the event he commented by saying:
At the beginning, a couple things happened. The car was not really as great as I wanted and I think the pressure was having an effect on me. Then when we made the first stop, I actually jumped the pit speed limit, which was my fault, and that’s why we got the penalty that sent us to the back. But that kind of woke me up, plus we had adjusted the pressures so the car was great. It was a rocket ship from there, but it was just hard to get to the front. We didn’t take the gamble on fuel at the end, but still we would’ve been fourth. We had a bit of miscommunication in the pits and we put too much fuel in, so we went back to twelfth place. If that wouldn’t have happened, we would’ve been legitimately fourth place so it’s a little sad. At the end of the day, the car was great, the team effort was great and only one can win. Today, it wasn’t us.