Hinchcliffe leads IndyCar practice one at Long Beach

Leave a comment

James Hinchcliffe led the opening practice session for IndyCar’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The Andretti Autosport driver, who’s traditionally been good at Long Beach, was one of two in the 1:09 range, at 1:09.8157.

Mike Conway, in his only confirmed start of the season for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, clocked in just behind at 1:09.8290 in the No. 17 blu eCigs Honda.

Takuma Sato, in Conway’s old car for A.J. Foyt Racing, Simona de Silvestro and Barber winner and defending series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Justin Wilson (Dale Coyne Racing) was next up ahead of Scott Dixon, Graham Rahal, Josef Newgarden, and JR Hildebrand.

Hondas and Chevrolets were fairly split, with Hinchcliffe, de Silvestro, Hunter-Reay and Hildebrand upholding Chevrolet’s honor to the other six in Hondas.

Practice two rolls off at 5:30 p.m. ET, 2:30 p.m. PT and local time.

Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

Getty Images
Leave a comment

We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.