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SPROTT DRIVER HINCHCLIFFE FINISHED 24TH AFTER BEING COLLECTED IN ACCIDENT

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James Hinchcliffe, No. 06 Sprott Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Unfortunately it was not the best day at the office.  We got a reasonable start and had an okay strategy going.  We got by some guys in the pit stops and ran a clean first stint.  It was amazing that we didn’t have yellows right off the bat.  I think everybody was happy about that.  We picked off a couple of guys, got by Oriol and stayed out of trouble.  I think we were running 11th when the caution came out for Scheckter and on the restart I didn’t get a particularly good run out of Turn 1 and was more looking at my mirrors about Jakes.  I was not even trying to attack, I wasn’t trying to get involved and I guess there was a mess with the two Ryan’s up in front of us and it just caused a log jam.  That corner is so tight that once you are in it there is really no where to go.  Luckily we kept the engine running but unfortunately Jakes got in the back of us, after we got in the back of Pantano, and broke the suspension.  We were in the pits for a number of laps getting repairs done.  We got back out for some laps at the end to just pick up a few places.  It’s a tough break if you look at the way the race played out for Oriol.  We were ahead of Oriol at that point and we might have had a podium in the cards.  I’m happy for him.  It was still a good performance.  We missed something in qualifying but as a team we rebounded pretty well and could have had two good finishes instead of just one.  Congrats to him and we will take our pace and momentum and know that we can still do a good job and move on to Motegi.  The promoters put on a great event.  I’m already looking forward to coming back.”

FAST FACTS: This was his first race here.  He qualified 17th but started 15th when two cars (HCN, TK) were sent to the back…Toronto native Hinchcliffe, 24, finished second in the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights season standings after three wins and four poles.  In total he earned eight podium finishes in 13 races… His highest road/street course start of the season is seventh at Mid-Ohio and highest road/street finish of fourth at Long Beach.  Is ranked 16th with a total of 255 points and is only three behind Rookie of the Year leader Hildebrand (258) after 14 of 15 events so far this season (did not compete in St. Pete).