Hinchcliffe featured in latest episode of INDYCAR 36
James Hinchcliffe, driver of the No. 27 GoDaddy.com car for Andretti Autosport, will be the focus of this week's "INDYCAR 36" on NBC Sports Network (noon ET, July 22) preceding its coverage of the Firestone Indy Lights race and the IZOD IndyCar Series Edmonton Indy from City Centre Airport.
The series goes behind the scenes with IZOD IndyCar Series drivers, detailing what transpires on race weekends on and off the track. Hinchcliffe, a native of Toronto, was the face of the Honda Indy Toronto on July 6-8 through widespread Go Daddy advertising, media coverage of the championship contender and other promotions.
"He likes to say that the only time he wasn't busy is when he was in the race car," IMS Productions senior producer Dan Huber said. "One my first lines is he's one of the new breed of IndyCar drivers because he's as good in front of the camera as he is behind the wheel. Hinch was so good it made it more difficult to edit because we have so much good material.
"One cool thing we were able to do was go to dinner with him the night before the race, which is something we haven't had the access with anybody else so far. There were 25 people there - family and friends -- that we were able to eavesdrop on and be a part of."
Hinchcliffe's race weekend started to go sour in practice when it was determined an engine change was necessary, which translated to a loss of 10 positions on the starting grid after he qualified ninth.
"We knew, because of the penalty, he was being dropped back to 19th and what the strategy would be," Huber continued. "It was similar to what we did with (Ryan) Hunter-Reay in Long Beach; when you are dropped back you can get more risky because you have nothing to lose."
Hinchcliffe moved to fourth following a round of pit stops, but another mechanical issue developed and the team decided to call it a day instead of risking an engine failure. Huber said Hinchcliffe was upbeat and gracious throughout the hectic and stressful weekend.
"I said, 'The good thing about being in Toronto is there are 16 cameras in front of you. The bad thing about being in Toronto when you go out early in the race is there are 16 cameras in front of you,' '' Huber said. "So he had to address the Canadian press, which he did professionally. It was cool to see for us who have known him for three, four years how he's grown. He's becoming the face of open-wheel racing in Canada."