Schmidt Peterson Motorsports James Hinchcliffe enjoyed a great battle with Team Penske’s Will Power during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach bringing the No.5 Arrow Electronics Honda home in eight place to claim his first top ten finish of the season which is something he can can build heading to Barber Motorsports Park next weekend.
The Mayor of Hinchtown started the race from seventh place and was happy to have stayed with the pace of the leaders throughout the 80 lap race. Speaking following the event, Hinch commented by saying:
It’s been a bittersweet day, really, It was nice to come away with a top-ten in the No. 5 Arrow Electronics car and we had a good first stint. We stayed out of trouble and kept up with the guys in front of us. On the first pit sequence, timing was bad: just as we had finished our stop and was about to be released, we had to hold for a bit because Munoz was entering his box. This ultimately cost us getting out and Takuma was able to jump us in the stops. That’s really what differentiated us, he had that little bit better track position and stayed in front of the guys in the next round of stops to come away with a top-five. I think we had his pace, definitely had more pace than the guys ahead of us right at the end. We just didn’t have the opportunity to get around them.
Hinch went on to say:
When there are no cautions like this, it takes strategies out of the mix and unfortunately became a bit of a fuel saving race, which is never fun for us and not the best show for the fans. But we brought the car home, we were quick all weekend and hopefully we can take this momentum into Barber next week.
Mikhail Aleshin in the No.7 SPM Racing Honda started the race from 18th place and came home in 16th and speaking following the race the Russian commented by saying:
We were gambling a bit on the strategy because we were towards the back of the field for the start of the race, We knew that the No. 7 SMP Racing car was one of the fastest cars on the track but our strategy just didn’t pay off. There were no yellow flags so that’s life. The good news is that we know we had a good pace and we were faster than most of the cars, so… next time.