May 15, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT
James Hinchcliffe has put aside any notion that he’s just a quirky personality with two wins from the first four races this year in the No. 27 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Andretti Autosport.
Still, that doesn’t mean the colorful Canadian isn’t quick to illuminate a press room with humor describing one of his sponsors.
Before the formal press conference started on Tuesday – Hinchcliffe led the day’s Indianapolis 500 practice thanks to a tow – he had a Dr Pepper in hand to quench the day’s thirst.
What happened next doubled as an impromptu comedic tour de force and devout dedication to this product, one of the team sponsors.
“I just generally love Dr Pepper. No seriously, I actually love this stuff,” said Hinchcliffe. “It’s like the best liquid on the planet. I mean, water’s good and all, but Dr Pepper is like, 23 flavors. You can’t beat that. It’s a fact.
“I’ve tried to figure out what all the flavors are; I think one of them actually is ‘Children’s laughter,’” he surmised. “That’s how good this stuff is. ‘Horn of a unicorn?’ It’s definitely ‘Mermaid tail.’ Why didn’t I think of that one?”
When a reporter asked if Hinchcliffe was merely hamming it up for the cameras or if this was a true case of love at first chug, Hinchcliffe said this was no act.
“I mean they are on board as a sponsor, the whole Dr Pepper Snapple group,” he said. “The day I got the call from Andretti Autosport was the happiest day of my life, because I knew I had an unlimited supply of Dr Pepper. I’m not kidding, I actually love this stuff!”
For the full press conference featuring Hinchcliffe and JR Hildebrand, go to the IMS Pressroom page here, click on the Hinch and JR video, and go to the 7:50 mark for the beginning of the Dr Pepper love fest.