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IndyCar Driver Review: James Hinchcliffe

Nov 25, 2013, 2:20 PM EDT

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With the IndyCar season in the books and a limited amount of news to come since the season finale at Fontana, my MotorSportsTalk colleague Chris Estrada and are taking a look back at the 2013 season just past. Chris and I each ranked our top 10 drivers and some of the biggest stories; now we take a look back at the field driver-by-driver.

In eighth place, IndyCar’s resident court jester and the second of four first-time winners in 2013, James Hinchcliffe…

2013 SEASON PREVIEW

James Hinchcliffe

  • Team: Andretti Autosport
  • 2012: 8th Place, Best Finish 3rd, Best Start 2nd
  • 2013: 8th Place, 3 Wins, Best Start 2nd, 4 Podiums, 6 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 264 Laps Led, 9.1 Avg. Start, 12.3 Avg. Finish

DiZinno says: Hinch is known as the comedian of the IndyCar paddock and his season was the equivalent of a sitcom: it alternated brilliant episodes with clunkers on a regular basis. Three wins were balanced out by four finishes of 21st or worse in the first 11 races, before six top-10s in the final eight races concluded the year. The sitcom metaphor continues because in the second half of the year, Hinch had to keep producing great on-track performances while mulling his future: do I take my talents to another channel (team) or stay with the network (team) where I’ve grown further? He chose the latter, he’ll be better for it and he’ll rock even harder in 2014.

Estrada says: After a wildly uneven first half in which he rarely found the middle ground between finishing up front and finishing in the back, Hinchcliffe put together a steady stretch of good results to close what was a pivotal year for him. Unlike in the past, Hinchcliffe was in a position of strength when it came time to Silly Season and his work on the track didn’t do anything to take away from it. Now thoroughly ensconced within the Andretti camp, the Canadian will now be looking to maintain that consistency he had toward the end of 2013 and bring it into next spring.

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