I don't think a driver has stepped into a car with more pressure on him/her then Mayor of Hinctown, James Hinchcliffe. Hinch was hired to replace the late Dan Wheldon who was supposed to take the seat in 2012 who was going to replace Danica Patrick, who was arguably one of the most popular, and biggest media attractions in Indycar history.
And I had my doubts to be honest. I honestly thought that the immense pressure of strapping into the seat that was driven by one of the most popular drivers and also would have been occupied by a two time Indy 500 champion would have gotten to him. But not Hinchcliffe. He has soared beyond expectations and is stringing together a championship caliber season.
|Showing off his sense of humor as Manica|
But a lot of drivers can race well. It is what Hinch does off the track that makes him the great man that he is. Polite to fans, funny around drivers and crews, and many other great personality traits. He does this all whilst balancing a fierce competitiveness nature and tenacity on the track. He was so geared up and focused on Pole Day. You could see the fire in his eye, that inner desire for the pole at Indy. When it is game time, it is game time. He takes what he does very seriously and doesn't like to lose, which was apparent after the track claimed his car at Belle Isle. That was about as PO-ed as I had ever seen Hinch. But, a lot of drivers have that fire in the gut too. An important attribute for every driver to have is to be a student of the sport. James's idol is Greg Moore, and he carries Greg with him, as one of Greg's signature red gloves (signed by Greg himself) is taped to the heart of Hinch. That is just plain awesome.
Let's run through some of the great results Hinch has had this season:
- St. Pete - 4th
- Barber- 6th
- Long Beach - 3rd
- Sao Paulo - 6th
- Indy - 6th
- Detroit - 21st (no fault of his own)
- Texas - 4th
- Milwaukee - 3rd
- Average Finish through first 8 races - 6.6
|A championship and his first win are in store for the young Canadian|
That is some ridiculous numbers! Not only is he kicking ass and taking names, but he has been an asset to Andretti Autosport and has been a perfect fit with the team, making everyone around him better. You add in the fact that he is only 25, and that makes this whole thing just awesome. In fact, if you don't think that's awesome then you need awesome lessons. Mayor Hinchtown, I salute you. Keep up the great work, and remember, #HinchForHomepage.
Let me know what you think.