Associated Press

IndyCar stars past and present unite at Andretti house (PHOTOS)


This isn’t really so much a post but more a collection of awesomeness, captured in a couple photos.

I’ve written this before, but Mario Andretti is a national treasure. As one of America’s all-time greatest racing drivers, when he speaks, you drop everything and listen.

So it’s fair to say these four Verizon IndyCar Series drivers, three of whom are Americans and the other who has made Indianapolis his U.S. home but flies the flag proudly as IndyCar’s resident lone full-time Canadian, were soaking up the moment in listening to Andretti rather than dishing stories on their own.

We’ll never know what was said, of course, but consider this evening – as shared by Conor Daly of Dale Coyne Racing, with Mario’s grandson Marco Andretti (Andretti Autosport), Josef Newgarden (CFH Racing) and James Hinchcliffe (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports) – was likely something special.

Daly’s photo is below, followed by one from “Hinch.”

There are very few things I enjoy more than listening to this man tell stories. Thanks again, @andrettimario!

A photo posted by James Hinchcliffe (@hinchtown) on

Andretti Autosport picks James Hinchcliffe for last 3 races of season

Andretti Autosport James Hinchcliffe
Chris Owens/IndyCar
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James Hinchcliffe will finish the NTT IndyCar Series season for Andretti Autosport, replacing Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda.

The team made the announcement Friday afternoon that Hinchcliffe will return after racing for Andretti at Texas Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Indianapolis 500.

Hinchcliffe, who also has worked as an IndyCar on NBC analyst and pit reporter, will race in the Oct. 2-3 doubleheader race weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida.

“It’s always unfortunate to have to change drivers this far into a season, but we have to look at finishing the year the best we can for the 26 team and start evaluating and looking at options for 2021,” team owner Michael Andretti said in a release. “James has an existing relationship with our team that we’d love to build on and it makes the most sense for him to step in for these last three races. We are looking forward to seeing what he can do.”

Hinchcliffe has a season-best finish of seventh in the Indy 500. He had been working on trying to put together a deal for next season after scrambling to secure a partial schedule this year when he lost his ride at Arrow McLaren SP after 2020 with a year left on his deal.

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“I know, probably better than most, what Zach is feeling right now, and I have to say that he has handled everything about as class act as you can,” Hinchcliffe said. “I’ve known Zach as a teammate, before that as a colleague and even before that as a friend, and he is a guy that I respect in every way. I know he is a fighter and will fight back to where he wants to be.

“For me now, my focus is 100% on racing the Harvest GP and getting the best possible results for Gainbridge, for Honda, for Michael and for the team. I obviously haven’t been on a road course in a while, but at least the last time I was, it was here at IMS! Hopefully that puts us in a good position to go out there and have a strong weekend.”