Avondale, AZ – The 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season has gone about as good as it could have been for James Hinchcliffe. The Schmidt-Peterson Motorsports driver started out the season with a ninth place run at St. Pete. Where he can hang his hat on that race is, he led 21 laps and was leading when a caution came out in the middle of the first pit sequence. That flipped the field, as he had a car to win that day.
If not for a caution, he was headed to a podium on the Florida street circuit.
The next race at Long Beach, another street race, Hinchcliffe got back to victory lane as he led 25 laps that day en route to the thrilling victory.
Then, the next race at Barber, he came home sixth.
Tonight at Phoenix, Hinchcliffe charged from his 11th starting spot to fifth by the end of the first pit sequence, but he faded with an issue in the end and came home 12th.
He still sits in the top five of the points standings heading to Indy, where he came home third in the IndyCar Grand Prix a year ago. Mix that with winning the pole for the Indy 500 and running well all day too last year, and the Month of May could really place Hinch into the championship hunt for good.
Following Indy, is two more street races, where those circuits in 2017 have obviously suited him. After that, is to Texas where he dominated last year and finished second.
So, it’s clear now that the popular Canadian is a very real championship threat this season. Tonight in Phoenix shows that.