Schmidt Peterson Motorsports James Hinchcliffe has joined the cast of ABC’s Dancing With The Stars airing this autumn.

The Mayor of HinchTown is not the first Verizon IndyCar Series driver to participate in the show with Helio Castroneves competing in 2007. Speaking about his addition to the cast, Hinchcliffe said:

Well, I can honestly say this will rank just above the Indy 500 as one of the most nerve-wracking things that I’ve ever agreed to do, Normally I’m used to working under pressure in front of a live audience, but I can’t see them, so this should be a totally new experience for me and especially as someone with no ability to dance whatsoever.

Hinchcliffe’s dancing partner for the show will be Australian dancer Sharna Burges. The Canadian went on to say:

My partner definitely has her work cut out for her because the last INDYCAR driver that did this (Castroneves) did pretty well, and so my goal has to be to match that or else I’m going to get a ton of crap from everybody back in the paddock, But my desire to win is matched only by my inability to dance, which makes for a pretty interesting combination. It should be fun and we’re going to try and have some fun. I’m looking forward to getting going.

Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman and Co. the parent company of the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway commented by saying:

It’s fantastic news that James Hinchcliffe has been named to the cast of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and we certainly recognize the significance of this opportunity for the Verizon IndyCar Series, Hinch has been a phenomenal ambassador for INDYCAR since he entered the series and we all know how well he will represent our sport to the ABC audience this fall. We look forward to the support from Verizon IndyCar Series fans once the show begins as we know their votes will be instrumental in ensuring he stays on the show.

Sam Schmidt, who owns the team that Hinchcliffe drives for commented by saying:

We have always known James is a huge talent with the microphone, but it will be interesting to see if that creativity will work on the dance floor, It is a large audience and thus a fantastic opportunity to expand his following as well as the Verizon IndyCar Series. Unfortunately, Helio set the bar pretty high!

Castroneves who won the show in 2007 commented by saying:

It’s great to hear that another Verizon IndyCar Series driver will be on ‘Dancing with the Stars, Good luck, Hinch. It’s a lot of work, but a tremendous experience. The pressure is intense in the race car and it’s every bit as real on the show. My advice is to be ready to work, but have fun with it at the same time.

The new series starts on September 12.


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