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IndyCar’s James Hinchcliffe: Setbacks have their upsides

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04CJ0700

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Hello from the Left Coast, the grandest stage in sports at the moment. In the last few days alone, it has played host to Kobe’s fine NBA farewell and the Golden State Warriors’ historic 73-win season. I can’t think of a better way to cap off the week than with a little IndyCar action—the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which you can catch on NBCSN at 4 p.m. Eastern if you can’t make it out to the 11-turn, 1.968-mile idyll to check out this street race in person. But, really, if you’re in the area and can come out, you should. There’s no place like Long Beach.

This is one of my favorite tracks, my favorite events. When you hold an event 41 times, you get pretty good at hosting it. The track is very well sorted for a street course, which has bred many high quality races. A few of those have been truly special for me. I had my first Indy Lights win (in 2010), my first IndyCar top five (in ’11), my first IndyCar podium (in ’12); I’ve started on the front row (in ’14). I’ve had some good times here, for sure. And I could use a few more after a weekend to forget in Phoenix.

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