Leeds, AL – April 26, 2015 – James Hinchcliffe earned a seventh place finish after an exciting Honda Grand Prix of Alabama on Sunday afternoon. The Canadian driver is now tied for sixth in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship points.
During Saturday’s qualifying session, Hinchcliffe advanced to round two of the Firestone Fast Six format and earned a tenth place spot on the starting grid for the race. Teammate James Jakes narrowly missed the second round but ran a solid enough lap to start the race in P14.
Both drivers were running a solid pace at the beginning of the 90-lap competition. Just before the first caution of the race, Hinchcliffe made a pit stop. He ran head-to-head with Graham Rahal, keeping pace with the race leaders. He got caught in slower traffic several times but fought hard to stay near the front of the field.
“The race was pretty good for the Arrow Electronics team,” said Hinchcliffe. “We were able to pick up a couple of spots, obviously. The pace of the car was really good and I think the guys called the right strategy for where we started. We were missing in one area: we just didn’t quite have it on the brakes today, unfortunately. That allowed Graham to stay in front of us while he was on blacks and it really got us stuck behind those Coyne cars for way too long.
“When you look at where Graham finished, we were right with him there. Obviously we missed a bit but strategy was good, car was good and like I said, if we’d just had a little bit more on the brakes, I think we could’ve made some good headway. We stayed out of trouble, had a good points day and we’ll take it. We get faster and faster, more and more competitive in these races and that’s what we need to see. A big thanks to all the Arrow crew guys for a solid weekend and we look forward to the GP of Indy now.”
Jakes’ No. 7 car had a minor valve issue during his first pit stop but he was able to stay on the first lap. On lap 33, he was spun by another driver and spent the rest of the race playing catch-up.
“It was a disappointing day for the No. 7 MediaTech Honda with UMP and HelpForScoliosis.com,” said Jakes. “We just had an error in the pits and then we got turned around, actually when we were on the lead lap. It’s disappointing but we’ll take credits from this weekend and move on to the Indy Grand Prix. Obviously, the No. 5 car got some more points for the team, which is good, and we’ll try to do the same next week.”
On Saturday, Lights drivers Jack Harvey and RC Enerson earned a P2 and P3 finish, respectively, in the first of two races at Barber Motorsports Park. Teammate Ethan Ringel finished P10 and first-lap contact forced Scott Anderson to the back, where he finished P12.
On Sunday, Harvey stood on the podium again with another P2 finish. Anderson finished P5, Enerson P7, Ringel P9.
“Overall I think it’s been a solid weekend. I now have four podium finishes out of five events, with four second-place finishes, so still looking for that first win. Obviously we’re going into the month of May now, which is what racing is all about worldwide. I’m really looking forward to it and hopefully we’ll have our first win in Indianapolis.”
In two weeks, the Verizon IndyCar Series kicks off the prestigious “month of May” with the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis. The famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be converted to a road course for the 82-lap race on Saturday, May 9. Fans can catch all the action live on ABC from 3:30-6 p.m. ET.
The Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires Series will also complete two races on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. Tickets for both races are still available at IndianapolisMotorSpeedway.com.