Schmidt Peterson Motorsports James Hinchcliffe in the No.5 Arrow Honda fought his way back from 19th place to finish the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio sports car course to finish the race in fifth place.
The Canadian who went into the race off the back of a third place finish last time out at his home race the Honda Indy Toronto was handed a penalty following a pit-lane speed violation which dropped him down the order.
The Mayor of HinchTown recovered well finishing the race just ahead of Dale Coyne Racing’s Conor Daly and just behind Graham Rahal. Speaking following the race he commented by saying:
It was a solid result for the Arrow Electronics car, We had a really roller-coaster day, starting mid-field and ending up at the back after about mid-distance and then working our way back up to a top five. I have to give the guys a lot of credit. We had a bit of an evil balance in the first part of the race but every stop we worked on it and every stop we made it better. We got back on the red tires in the third stint and it really started to come to us. We picked off some guys in pit cycles and then picked off some guys on track in the last stint. We didn’t catch either of the lucky yellows, we had to earn it, but after falling to the back of the line for a pit-lane speed violation, which was one hundred percent my fault, we raced our way back up to a top five. Great work in the pits and I’m happy for everyone at Arrow, and at Honda at one of their home races. It was a tough break for Mikhail and the No. 7 crew but it shows that we have the pace as a team and hopefully we can prove that moving forward.
Mikhail Aleshin in the No.7 SMP Racing Honda led his first race since 2014 and was extremely strong throughout the race and looked on course to score his first Verizon IndyCar Series win however a mistake on pit-road saw him released from his box at the wrong time and as a result he collided with the No.21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet of Josef Newgarden.
As a result he received a penalty for an ‘unsafe release’ which dropped him down the order finishing the race in 17th place and speaking following the event the Russian commented:
The car was amazing, “The team did a fantastic job to bring the No. 7 SMP Racing car up to speed. No one was really faster than we were. I felt quite competitive up there in the front and I wasn’t pushing like crazy because I was also saving fuel. Everything was going proper, perfect and I was saving fuel but at the same time, I was the fastest car on the track so obviously the car was pretty good. I think the incident was unfortunate. I don’t want to discuss it though. I want to just say that sometimes these things happen in the race and we’re ready to win but we just got a little bit unlucky today.