Schmidt Peterson Motorsports James Hinchcliffe in the No.5 Arrow Electronics Honda had a slow start to his return to the Verizon IndyCar Series following nearly a year away from the sport.
Last season while he wasn’t able to drive he was present in the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports race shop helping the team with set up work and speaking with the drivers. On Sunday just over a year after his accident at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway the Mayor of HinchTown took the Verizon P1 Award.
When Hinch had his accident he was told that he would not be back in a car for at least six months, he was back in a race car within four.
The Toronto native showed all the signs that something special was going to happen on Sunday after setting the fastest time in the Fast Nine competition during the opening day of qualifying for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
On Sunday he delivered a fantastic four lap qualifying average speed of 230.760mph beating Ed Carpenter Racing’s Josef Newgarden to the P1 Award.
Hinch will be the leading Honda this Sunday as the Japanese manufacturer who have really struggled so far this season bounced back for the month of May and occupy six of the top ten starting positions for this years Indianapolis 500.
So is it a case that Chevrolet are sandbagging? No, Honda have been strong all month and Hinch’s performance at the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis where he finished the race on the podium in the No.5 Arrow Electronics Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda showed that Honda had something special up their sleeve.
It hasn’t just been Schmidt Peterson Motorsports who have been quick throughout the month of May but Andretti Autosport who had been really struggling at the start of the season stepped up their game and have been extremely quick.
Michael Andretti’s stable three of their five cars in the top ten for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. When it comes to Chevrolet it’s what you would expect to see, there are no Ganassi or Penske cars in the top five positions for the Indy 500.
The highest placed Penske car is Will Power in the No.12 Verizon Chevrolet in 6th place while the highest placed Ganassi car is reigning series champion Scott Dixon in the No.9 Target Chevrolet who will start the race in 13th place and was lucky to even get into qualifying as he suffered a loss of power in the closing stages of Sunday practice before qualifying and thanks to the incredible team effort of all four Ganassi entrants he was able to get out for a qualifying run.