Schmidt Peterson Motorsports James Hinchcliffe says that the No.5 Arrow Electronics crew can be pretty happy with his ninth place finish in Sunday’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The Mayor of HinchTown started the race from eighth place and ran as high as fifth during the 85 lap race.
Speaking following the race the Canadian commented by saying:
We had everything under the sun thrown at us today, and to come out of it in the top 10, it’s not the result we wanted, but given the circumstances, we can be pretty happy with that. It was a no-give up kind of day. We had a decent start, stayed out of trouble and picked up a couple spots when other guys had some problems, and just out of nowhere, the car went from comfortable understeer to undriveable oversteer. We just started falling through the field like a rock… we’re still not entirely sure what happened. We came in, got some new tires on and went for broke and had a good second stint, made up a bunch of time. Then we were kind of waiting for everyone on the two-stop strategy to cycle through and get some clean track, make up time. After all the two-stoppers pitted, the yellow came out almost right away and we were hosed… we still had to pit for our last stop. From there, we were able to pick up a couple spots again, but for all the things that were thrown at us, we just didn’t stop fighting. The Arrow Electronics guys were great in the pits. We did a great job trying to change strategy on the fly, and overall we’re happy with our top 10. This is the kind of day that keeps you alive in the championship: when it’s very much not your day, but you can still come away with a solid points finish.
Hinch’s team mate Robert Wickens in the No.6 Lucas Oil Honda had an extremely disappointing race as he suffered gearbox gremlins and finished the race in 22nd place having started the event in 10th place and speaking following the race he said:
“Pretty tough day. I think that our Lucas Oil car was really quick. We had a pretty good start, capitalized on other people’s mistakes, and I think we were in podium contention until we had a mechanical issue. I’m not entirely sure, but I’m hearing the GCU unit failed. I got stuck in fifth gear, we couldn’t fix it and obviously trying to fix it under green flag was a nightmare because you just lose so many laps. It’s a shame. The car was really quick on both tires.The car was actually pretty phenomenal on blacks [primary Firestone tires]. It’s just unfortunate – two street courses in a row where we should have scored really great points and we leave with basically nothing.
Birthday boy Jack Harvey in the No.60 AutoNation/Sirius XM Meyer Shank Racing with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda had a strong race, starting the race from 17th place on the grid he came home in 12th place and speaking following the race he commented by saying:
We moved forward and that was the goal for the weekend. We ran well all day and were in seventh when that yellow came out at the absolute wrong time. But you can’t predict those kinds of things happening. We had a good race and we showed what we can do and that we deserve to be here. It’s also a great result for the team and my birthday today. Obviously it’s Jim’s (Meyer) first race as an official team owner this weekend, and I’m really excited for everyone at Meyer Shank Racing. It’s not too often that you can really show your true potential, and I think this weekend was a good step in that direction