It was a photo finish for James Hinchcliffe and Graham Rahal at the Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night.
The Mayor of HinchTown who restarted the Firestone 600 on lap 72 completed dominated the race, driving flawlessly only to be beaten right at the line by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal.
The finish which was 0.008s has gone down in history as the closest finish at Texas Motor Speedway for a Verizon IndyCar Series race. Speaking following the event, a disappointed James Hinchcliffe stated:
It was a tough finish, for sure. “It was a great race. The Arrow Electronics car was just a rocket ship. We built the thing to be good over a tire stint, which is always the name of the game here in Texas. Tire degradation is key.
“We haven’t had a late-finish, three-wide battle here in Texas since 2011. It was tough. We kept a lot of guys at bay. Like I said, we really built the car for long runs and on those restarts we kept them at bay a couple times but ultimately, Graham [Rahal] and TK [Tony Kanaan] stopped for tires and I think that was kind of the difference maker.
“It’s a tough call but huge credit to the Arrow Electronics boys because the car really was a rocket and congrats to Graham. It’s a lot of fun racing up there with those guys and I think we put on a much better show for the fans than we would’ve if we were leading by half a straight. We’d have liked it better but we’re here to put on a good show.
While Hinchcliffe picked up his best finish of the season, his team mate Mikhail Aleshin who picked his best career finish to date in Pocono on Monday had a tough Firestone 600.
The Russian restarted the race from 3rd place having originally qualified down the order and made a good start maintaining a place in the top five for the majority of the race before retiring with 14 laps to go and speaking following the race, the driver of the No.7 SMP Racing Honda commented by saying:
Unfortunately, that incident is what happens when a lapped car keeps pushing you out onto the marbles. “We had a really great car tonight and it was definitely capable of finishing in the top three or four. The SMP Racing crew did an amazing job and we’ll be able to show how fast we are soon.