IndyCar 2015 Driver Review: James Hinchcliffe

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MotorSportsTalk continues its review through the field of Verizon IndyCar Series drivers, driver-by-driver, with a look next at the part-timers. Finishing 23rd in the points after only racing a handful of events prior to his accident in practice for the Indianapolis 500 was James Hinchcliffe. Just today, he’s penned a good piece on The Players’ Tribunelinked here.

James Hinchcliffe, No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda

  • 2014: 12th Place, Best Finish 3rd, Best Start 2nd, 1 Podium, 4 Top-5, 8 Top-10, 75 Laps Led, 8.2 Avg. Start, 12.3 Avg. Finish
  • 2015: 23rd Place (5 Starts), 1 Win, Best Start 10th, 1 Podium, 1 Top-5, 2 Top-10, 20 Laps Led, 13.6 Avg. Start, 9.6 Avg. Finish

The script took a detour for the “Mayor of Hinchtown” in 2015, who was the most active IndyCar driver in the offseason with his signing to Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, then scoring a popular – if fortuitous – victory at NOLA Motorsports Park.

Yet his accident in practice for the Indianapolis 500 was as shocking as it was serious, and nearly in the blink of an eye, Hinchcliffe almost lost his life. The incredible, fast work of the Holmatro Safety Team saved the Canadian’s life.

Within a week, miraculously, he’d been released from the hospital and within a month, he was back in Toronto, Milwaukee and Iowa either giving the command or doing driver intros.

“Hinch” is on the mend and his first test back, in September, is already one of the best offseason stories.

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.