Two wins, and a tough middle to the season. What does James Hinchcliffe think of his season so far.
James Hinchcliffe started this season off on the perfect foot, taking home two wins in his young career before the month of May rolled around.
Now, with the monkey off his back, 'Hinch looks back on those two wins, and talks about his season so far.
Hinchcliffe won his first IndyCar race at St. Pete on a weekend he called relatively straight forward.
"The race itself was in a lot of ways relatively straight forward in that we qualified near the front and we ran up in the top three all day, I think with the exception of losing one spot on one pit stop, we just took advantage of some other guys mistakes and made very few of our own. At the end of the day we were able to knock off that first win," said Hinchcliffe.
A couple weeks later, Hinchcliffe took home his second win in a dramatic last turn, last lap pass on Takuma Sato in the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Canadian was visibly excited over the win and said he was shocked the opportunity presented itself after having a dismal day.
"The race in brazil was not going straightforward at all. At one point we were off sequence, running 22nd and still saving fuel. There was one point in that race where without getting all the information from the pit stand, I was thinking that we really balled this one up, we may as well just call it a day and go home early," said Hinchcliffe.
"The guys knew what they were doing and had us in position."
Hinch said he battled hard with Sato in the laps leading up to the final circuit, but the emotion came from the "most exciting way to win a race."
"I made sure it wasn't going to be a side by side drag race to the flag after the moment on the backstretch, I was going to pay him the same courtesy. I made sure we were nose to tail off the corner and that was that. In Sao Paulo, that was pure racing. To come out on top of a last corner last lap win, there are few better ways to win a race."
The Andretti Autosport driver's season took a turn after those wins, struggling to find the top five. Citing the competition in the sport, and difficult racing conditions in Texas for his less-than-stellar finishes, he expects things to turn around soon.
"Indy was its own deal. We certainly didn't have what we needed on race day. The team was capable of being competitive but we missed something that day. That happens in racing. Its a tough thing to accept when it happens on the biggest race of our year," he said.
The 27-year-old says he is very optimistic to be running with Andretti Autosport as they are one of the best teams in the sport today.
"We saw the team really come together last year, and that culminated with Ryan winning the championship," said Hinchcliffe.
"If you look back at some of the races last year that we were successful, whether it was our car, Marco's car, end especially Ryan's car, we weren't the quickest guys out there. I don't even think you can argue that for St. Pete or Brazil that we were the quickest car either, the good teams are the Sunday teams that make the right decisions and the right times on race day," Hinch said.