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James Hinchcliffe: Special feeling to race on my home turf

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TORONTO—Greetings, all. Hinch here, checking in from the coolest city in North America: my hometown. Of course this visit isn’t just an occasion to catch up with family and friends. As it happens, me and my boys in the Verizon IndyCar Series will be racing through the streets all weekend. The main event, the Honda Indy Toronto, goes down on Sunday. American viewers are highly encouraged to tune in to CNBC at 2:30 p.m. for all the action, from the green flag to the checkers. As for my fellow Canadians? Live attendance isn’t just strongly suggested. Call it a patriotic duty. As ever, this is going to be a happening and if you can’t make it live you can watch on SN360

It’s been a happening since at least 1988, my first ever race. I can’t say I remember a ton from that weekend—not because I enjoyed a few too many Hinchtown Hammerdown-like products, but because I was just 18 months old at the time. As for the many visits that would come after that, those have stayed with me. My dad, a big car buff, is the one who hooked me early. I remember being under the grandstands as a kid, playing monkey bars. I remember chasing drivers down for autographs as they zipped around on their scooters. It was Christmas in July.

As I got older, I developed a deeper appreciation and understanding of the actual racing. I watched Michael Andretti win, like, a million races here. I saw our home soil boy, Paul Tracy, win here in 2003—which was very cool. By that point, I was racing and had aspirations of doing exactly what he did. It’s funny to think back and look at all the different stages of my life through this weekend. I’m telling ya, it’s gonna be special.

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