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#Indy500orBust Trackside Update: Fast Friday

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James Hinchcliffe ended the day 12th fastest with a top lap of 226.983mph. The Toronto native’s fastest lap of the day was almost exactly half a mile per hour faster than his four-lap average of 226.481mph on Pole Day last year. “Trimming out and obviously getting the extra boost from Chevy was fun,” said Hinchcliffe, whose previous fastest lap of the month was 224.210mph. “You feel like a hero, you feel like Superman, even though everybody else is doing the same thing, it’s just nice seeing those numbers on the dash after looking at 218s and 220s all week.” Hinch’s No. 27 GoDaddy car wound up in the middle of row one in 2012 after missing the pole by just 0.0023 seconds over four laps, on his way to finishing sixth in the Indy 500.  When asked about Pole Day, James sounded like a veteran. “It comes so much down to conditions,” the Mayor said. “When you draw for qualifying is going to be important, and how the wind is blowing is going be a big deal. It was a lot calmer today on that front, which was good. Hopefully we get conditions like that tomorrow. Now we have a nice, green race track after some rain, so we will see.” – Courtesy of Andretti Autosport

 

James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 GoDaddy Chevrolet

Hinchcliffe, who started on the front row for the 2012 Indy 500 , finished the week ranked 12th on the combined speed charts. Tomorrow’s Pole Day will mark his third consecutive year qualifying for the famed 500-mile race.

“I think the weird thing about Indy is we have 10 times more practice time than anywhere else, yet you always wish you had a little bit more to make it that little bit better. I think it’s just a function of a bunch of drivers and a bunch of engineers who are perfectionists and are always striving to make it a little better… but I think we can be pretty pleased with how things have gone. Obviously having team cars up there all but one day of practice bodes well. Qualifying is definitely gonna be tough. There’s a lot of quick cars, you know, finding that right level of downforce that takes enough drag off but doesn’t leave you sliding all over the place and scrubbing speed is gonna be key, and it would have been nice to have a run or two more to really nail that down. As  a team, I think we’re confident and it’s gonna be tough, because, like I said, there’s a lot of fast cars that are gonna be going for that fast nine. H opefully we can get there, and get the GoDaddy car in a good position for the start of the race.”

On the importance of the starting position versus the quality of the race car:

“It’s Sunday that everybody cares about. Dario (Franchitti) proved last year that qualifying is not the be-and all-end – he qualified 17th; he even got hit in pit lane and fell right to the back, but he had a good race car and got his way back up to the front. So, it’s definitely important to focus on the race car. What’s so tricky about (IMS) is it’s so sensitive to different weather conditions. So if you’re working on your race car throughout the entire week, and you actually see a variety of different conditions, that’s good. Whatever comes around on race day, you’ll at least have a little bit of an understanding of what the car and track might do.” – Courtesy of Andretti Autosport