James Hinchcliffe says he’s good with Ryan Hunter-Reay after Long Beach crash

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It sounds like Andretti Autosport teammates James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay are fine and good with each other after a multi-car incident that involved the pair during last Sunday’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

The Lap 54 incident started with Ryan Hunter-Reay going for the lead against Josef Newgarden in Turn 4, and ended with not only both of them in the wall, but also Hinchcliffe and several other drivers collected in the aftermath.

Hunter-Reay’s gamble didn’t sit too well with Hinchcliffe, who was clearly frustrated afterwards. The Canadian dubbed Hunter-Reay’s attempt to pass Newgarden a “rookie move” and also said that “patience is a virtue and someone wasn’t very virtuous today.”

But according to Curt Cavin of The Indianapolis Star, Hinchcliffe said that he and Hunter-Reay were “already joking about” the Long Beach incident and that Hunter-Reay didn’t seem to take his criticism personally.

“He ruined my race; I could have said a lot worse,” he told Cavin this afternoon.

Hunter-Reay later tweeted Sunday night that he would take the blame for the crash, which he called a “split second decision that backfired.”

The crash also left Hinchcliffe with an apparently injured wrist. When he was interviewed post-crash, he said nothing was broken and he’s now told Cavin that he has no trouble with it.

Hunter-Reay and Hinchcliffe will both look for better days next weekend at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park (Sun., Apr. 27, 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN/NBC Sports Live Extra). Hunter-Reay is the defending champion of the race.

MRTI: Keith Donegan earns Mazda Shootout Scholarship

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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Dublin, Ireland’s Keith Donegan claimed a $200K scholarship from Mazda after emerging victorious at the second annual Mazda Road to Indy Shootout. The 20-year-old Donegan earned an at-large nomination for the scholarship based on his performance at this year’s Formula Ford Festival, in which he finished second in the final, and emerged from a pack of 17 drivers from across the globe to claim the scholarship.

“It really hasn’t hit me yet,” said an emotional Donegan, who earlier in his career actually spent two years away from racing as he focused on academics. “The weekend was really good and I enjoyed it. I have to say a huge thanks to Mazda and Cooper Tires and everyone at the Mazda Road to Indy. I enjoyed every moment. Throughout the weekend we were consistent and I kept the small things in check. I didn’t make any stupid mistakes and kept my head cool and that really paid off in the end.”

The two-day shootout was held at the Bondurant Racing School in Arizona and saw the nominated drivers tackle the school’s 1.6-mile circuit in Formula Mazda race cars before facing on and off-track assessments. Donegan was selected by a panel of judges that included former driver and current Verizon IndyCar Series TV analyst Scott Goodyear, Mazda drivers Tom Long, Andrew Carbonell, and Jonathan Bomarito, as well as Victor Franzoni – the current champion of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires – and Oliver Askew, the current champion of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.

Donegan was humbled to be in the presence of drivers who have won scholarships and championships previously, and added that he is grateful to have the opportunity to continue his racing career.

“You see all these champions here today that will go on to great things in the future and I’m sure the names you see here today aren’t going to disappear,” Donegan added. “They will be back up there and I’m sure I will be racing them again some day. It is an unbelievable opportunity to be given and for Mazda to provide that for any young driver. It just gives that bit of motivation that you need because the [U.S.] is where you need to go to become a professional these days. It is such a boost to my career.”

Donegan is now slated to join the 2018 USF2000 championship, with further announcements regarding the team with whom he’ll be racing to come in the future.

Follow @KyleMLavigne