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Mission accomplished: Better results in sight

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Pit Stop

JGS_1529-1St. Petersburg, FL, March 13, 2016 — The mountain was climbed at St. Petersburg, even if the result wasn’t there.

After 10 months of recuperation and recovery,  James Hinchcliffe was eighth (Row 4) on the starting grid for the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, only to run into misfortune at the start and sustaining a right rear flat tire that dropped him out of contention right from the get go.

Did that leave him licking his wounds and bemoaning his fate? Far from it. Witness this twitter exchange with the Schmidt Peterson Motorsport team in the 16th lap.

Engineer to Hinch: “We need a yellow to get your lap back.  We just need to be patient.”

Hinch: “I‘m a (Toronto) Maple Leafs fan. I know how to be patient.”(the last time Toronto won the Stanley Cup was 1967).

In the end, the Mayor finished 19th. The good news to be drawn from this? He completed a race for the first time since early 2015 and he appreciated finishing the race, because that answered several questions.

Hinch was philosophical at race’s end. “Certainly it wasn’t the day we planned. I joke that when you make plans from A to P going into the first corner at St. Pete and by Turn 1, they all go out the window. That was definitely the case for us. We got tagged and cut a tire, then ended up spending the whole race a lap down. We finally got the yellow we needed, got the lap back, just to get caught up in Turn 4 on the restart there.

“There was some aggressive driving out there today but I guess that’s the first race and that’s what happens when a series is competitive. I’m happy for the progress we made on the car. I think we had a pretty decent fast lap there and we learned a lot about the new street course tire. “

“Hopefully we can just take this knowledge and move forward to Phoenix.”

For full race results please visit IndyCar.com