Chat with James Hinchcliffe
Hinchcliffe owns 7 top-10s in the season's 8 races.
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe stops by to chat as he prepares for this weekend's Iowa Corn Indy 250 at the Iowa Speedway.
Hinchcliffe, @Hinchtown, currently sits in second place in the points standings in his first full season in IndyCar. He took over driving the Andretti Autosport No. 27 GoDaddy.com car from Danica Patrick, after she moved on to race in NASCAR's Nationwide Series.
Send your questions now and join Hinchcliffe Thursday at 4:30 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (4:29 PM)
James is here!
what are your expectations for iowa ?
James Hinchcliffe (4:30 PM)
Well, I was a little bit of an unknown because of the heat race format, so we're a little bit cautious coming in. We have had good cars all year long. With Marco's success last year, I am confident that we'll be just as competitive as the last few rounds.
how did andretti approach you to ride and replace dankia patrick ride and how did you adopt to it so quickly and fast any thought on that.....
James Hinchcliffe (4:31 PM)
The team obviously needed to fill the car. They were looking at who were the best available drivers. Obviously, with this ride in particular with GoDaddy sponsorship, there was a big influence from GoDaddy as well. The team looked at the drivers and GoDaddy looked at who they liked as a spokesman for the brand. When they compared lists, I guess they had an answer. That prompted the call.
Jim Duszynski (Colorado Springs, CO)
What is your biggest challenge this year thus far?
James Hinchcliffe (4:32 PM)
There have been lots...getting grips with the new car has been the biggest challenge. Last year as a rookie, I had the benefit of the team having the car sorted out, having worked with it for so long. This year, we're working on it together all the time. I'm having an influence on the set up of the car, with it being new. I enjoy that, but it's a challenge.
adam (des moines, ia)
With a lot of opportunities for passing at Iowa, will you be holding a little back during the heat races to protect/save the car, or will you be going all out to try to capture the best possible starting position?
James Hinchcliffe (4:33 PM)
I think with the reduced aero package that we're presented with this year, what we saw at Milwaukee, position is everything. I think we'll see everyone go all out in the heat races to get the best possible position for the race.
Brandon Stevens (Lodi, CA)
There have been some great Canadian open wheel racers. Who did you idolize growing up and who is the best Canadian open wheel racer in your opinion (Gilles Villeneuve, Jacques Villeneuve, Paul Tracy, Greg Moore)?
James Hinchcliffe (4:34 PM)
Growing up, my hero was Greg Moore. We lost him far too young in his career. I think he would have gone on to accomplish a lot. Jacques, he accomplished a lot. He's got some weight in the record books for Canada.
Sarah (Kansas City)
How did Indy lights prep you for indycar?
James Hinchcliffe (4:36 PM)
I think my time in Indy Lights was invaluable. Me coming from truly road racing, getting to learn the ovals at that level was beneficial. If I had to learn oval racing at the IndyCar level, it would have taken me a lot longer. The Indy Lights car was a lot like the IndyCar. I saw it as a very logical step up. To have been at all of these race tracks in a car that drove similarly, I think my time in Lights had a significant impact.
Kieran (Sacramento, CA)
What do you feel has contributed the most to your ability to be as consistent as you have been so far this season, and with the road course stretch coming back after Iowa, do you see that consistency continuing?
James Hinchcliffe (4:37 PM)
I wish I knew what the key was to the consistency. It's just good teamwork. Myself and the engineers are working well together that's not only quick but comfortable to drive over distance. The work has been really good. That's been a big part of it. If you look until the first road races, we finished in the top 6 in all of those. I think you'll see the same consistency. We'll try to improve and move up the finishing order a little bit.
what is it like to take over a ride like danica patrick who is running the nationwide series and is doing good in nationwide car and have you been able to watch some of her racing this year when you ever get a chance to you thoughts on that....
James Hinchcliffe (4:39 PM)
It's been great. You're stepping into one of the most visible rides in the sport, which comes with some added attention and pressure. It's been so much fun with the commercials and the online campaigning with the homepage, which are things I like doing. We're both in the same GoDaddy family now so I like tuning in and watching her and supporting her whenever I can.
Frank McInnis (Montreal)
Do you speak French? How would you feel about a race in Quebec City or Mont-Tremblant?
James Hinchcliffe (4:40 PM)
Growing up in Canada, I know some French from school. I can read and understand better than I can speak. I can get by when I need to. I would absolutely love to race in Canada. I would give anything if IndyCar could go race there again.
Hinchtown! You are 2nd in points and you haven't even finished that high in one race, have you? First comes comes in Iowa or next at Toronto. Keep up the consistency!
James Hinchcliffe (4:41 PM)
I genuinely think that every race we have the potential to win at this point. Another short track at Iowa represents a good opportunity. Toronto is another good possibility. The races are so competitive, so to win, you have to have it where you're perfect, the team is perfect and have everything go your way. You could get caught up in an unlucky yellow or get caught up in someone else's mess.
Which road course is your favorite?
James Hinchcliffe (4:42 PM)
That's a tough call. I have a couple that are you could say are tied for my favorite.
James Piccarreto (Rochester, NY)
What is your favorite racing memory?
James Hinchcliffe (4:44 PM)
As a driver you go through so many good days and bad days, it's tough to pick out the best of the best and the worst of the worst. I remember my first win on an oval in Indy Lights in 2010. It was in Chicago. Being someone that came from road racing to get that first oval win meant a lot. It helped me believe that I was getting ready to make that jump up into IndyCars.
James Hinchcliffe (4:45 PM)
Thanks for all of the support. It's been a tremendous first half of the year with this new team and new sponsor. It's great showing up to the track wearing green for the first time and seeing all of the supporters. We couldn't do it without you.