Schmidt Peterson Motorsports James Hinchcliffe and 2016 Dancing With The Stars runner up James Hinchcliffe has set his eyes on the top prize in the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2017.

The Toronto native finished the season in 13th place in the championship securing three podium finishes at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis where he finished the race in third place. The Mayor of HinchTown also finished the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway in second place place behind race winner Graham Rahal.

Hinch also picked up a podium finish at his home race, the Honda Indy of Toronto coming home in third place.

Hinchcliffe also claimed a famous Verizon P1 Award as he took pole position for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. Hinch ended the race in seventh place.

Speaking about Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Hinch commented by saying:

That’s what’s so impressive about SPM, they are kind of the little team that could. “When you think there’s the three powerhouse teams (Penske, Ganassi and Andretti) that combine to make 12 cars or half the grid, if you’re anywhere in the top 12 in points, you’re doing a good job if you’re not one of those (powerhouse team) guys.

In 2017, Hinch will once again drive for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports having replaced Simon Pagenaud at the team in 2015 following Pagenaud’s move to Penske.

Hinchcliffe has taken four wins during his Verizon IndyCar Series career to date with the most recent coming at Louisiana in 2015 and speaking about the 2016 season, Hinch said:

The pace that we’ve had and some of the weekends we’ve salvaged from subpar starts is what I’m really proud about. “I think it shows that we’re getting into position to start to begin contending for a championship.

The 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season starts with the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg from March 10-12.

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