News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Auto Racing

July 8, 2011

Hinchliffe looking forward to IndyCar's Canadian stops

TERRE HAUTE — James Hinchcliffe is looking forward to the next two IZOD IndyCar Series events to be run in his native Canada.

First up is Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto to be run on the streets of Toronto. Versus will carry the action live at 2 p.m. EDT.

That race will be followed by a July 24 race scheduled to be run at the airport in Edmonton.

Hinchcliffe is a rookie in the series, driving the No. 06 Newman Haas Racing car after finishing second in the Firestone Indy Lights Series last year for Moore Racing.

“I’ve been telling everybody that I have been coming to the [Toronto] race since I was 18 months old. I’ve had the chance to drive here in a few junior formulas. It’s going to be special this year to see the [main] race from a different seat,” he said on a teleconference this week.

“We have a sort of small population [in Canada] compared to other countries. When it comes to sports, we like to prove we can compete,” he said.

He says the support from fans in Canda has been “incredible” … the fans are very knowledgeable, very passionate. They just love cheering on the locals,” he said.

Hinchcliffe finished fourth at Long Beach earlier in the season. “We’ve had good cars in the street series. I hope for the same on Sunday,” he added.

In finishing second in the Firestone Indy Lights Series last year, he won at Toronto but had a DNF in Edmonton. “Winning at Edmonton was a highlight, rebounding from the Toronto race,” said Hinchcliffe.

Noting the high number of rookies in the IZOD IndyCar Series this year, he said being rookie of the year would mean a lot to the winner. He said making the transition from Indy Lights to the main series was not a big problem.

“The car was comfortable right away. The work load is more … it’s a huge learning experience. I’ve worked very hard to get to this point,” said the 25-year-old driver.

Marco Andretti won the last race in Iowa and will be looking for another top finish.

Dario Franchitti is the leader in the point totals and has won twice at Edmonton. Will Powers won a year ago.

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