The Verizon IndyCar Series is famous for its close on track battles between teams and drivers however away from the circuit there is genuine friendship among the drivers, nowhere was this more evident than in the media centre at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday evening following James Hinchcliffe’s pole position for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
The first person to greet the Mayor of HinchTown was his former Andretti Autosport team mate and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter Reay who will start Sunday’s race from third place on the grid. The American embraced Hinch prior to the media conference.
Andretti Autosport’s Townsend Bell commented on qualifying by saying:
If it wasn’t me, you cannot help but smile for Hinchcliffe, Amazing. Just terrific.
Josef Newgarden who will start Sunday’s race alongside Hinchcliffe commented by saying:
I got going up the gears; I went fifth, sixth on the frontstretch and it was just on the limiter and with this headwind normally you downshift on the backstretch. I was just holding six on the limiter all the way through Turn 2. I was like, ‘What is going on, this thing’s super quick!’ It’s the quickest the car’s been all month. It was a good time to peak. This is the pinnacle; this is the greatest event that you can be a part of in racing so it’s just cool to be here. I was so happy to see our speed on that first lap and I got really hopeful that it might be enough to hang on, but it wasn’t. I’m happy for James (Hinchcliffe). It was a great run by them and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has done a fantastic job. We lost the battle today but I’m hoping we can win next weekend.