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A 1st and 3rd in Iowa!

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Hinchcliffe wins at Iowa Speedway

BY DEAN MCNULTY ,TORONTO SUN
FIRST POSTED: SUNDAY, JUNE 23, 2013 11:07 PM EDT | UPDATED: SUNDAY, JUNE 23, 2013 11:37 PM EDT

James Hinchcliffe (centre) is sprayed with champagne by Ryan Hunter-Reay (left) and Tony Kanaan after winning the Iowa Corn Indy 250 on Sunday. (Getty Images/AFP)

TORONTO – Who said James Hinchcliffe couldn’t run circles around the competition in the IZOD IndyCar Series?

Hinchcliffe claimed his third win of the 2013 IndyCar season — and his first on an oval — in an absolutely dominating victory at Iowa Speedway on Sunday in the Iowa Corn Indy 250.

There was nothing on this day that was going to stop the 26-year-old from Oakville, who led virtually from start to finish in the No. 27 Andretti Autosport Chevrolet.

The only time he was not No. 1 on the leader board was when he pitted for tires and ethanol.

Each and every time anyone — be it teammates Marco Andretti or Ryan Hunter-Reay, or Will Power or Helio Castroneves — mounted a challenge Hinchcliffe seemed to have that extra gear to pull away, leaving them in his wake.

Even he was taken aback by his superiority.
“I can’t believe we led that whole thing,” Hinchcliffe said.

He certainly answered any questions that may have been lingering about some less than stellar finishes earlier in the season.

And Hinchcliffe did it without his usual cheering section — mom, dad, sister and girlfriend — who had all skipped the event to get ready for his homecoming in three weeks for the Honda Indy Toronto.

“I am a little bit nervous because my family is not here, my girlfriend is not here and I feel like I am going to get in trouble because I won without them here,” Hinchcliffe said in Victory Lane.

I don’t think he needs to worry.

He has nine more races on the calendar this season and judging from his performance in Iowa there will be plenty more opportunities for his loved ones to watch him pop the champagne before all is said and done.

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Hinchcliffe did give a heap of credit to his Andretti Autosport team.

This Michael Andretti-owned group has won five of seven races at the three-quarter mile oval.
“It all goes to the team,” Hinchcliffe said. “We have a great track record here. The guys were awesome in the pits.”

He may have over stated it a bit because his three teammates — Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and E.J. Viso — were all in the same equipment and came up way short compared to Hinchcliffe.

Hinchcliffe did get one bid break when Castroneves — who won the pole on Saturday — changed the engine in his No. 3 Penske Racing Chevrolet and was penalized 10 starting positions.

That moved Hinchcliffe up to the front row from third and he beat Power — the new pole sitter — on the first lap and never looked back.

THIS WAS HINCH’S FIRST OVAL WIN IN HIS INDYCAR CAREER, AND HIS THIRD WIN IN 2013 –

HINCH CONTINUES TO BE THE DRIVER WITH THE MOST WINS IN 2013.