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KVSH Racing adds Chris Mower as team manager

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Veteran team manager Chris Mower has joined KVSH Racing in the same role, the team announced on Friday.

Mower will work with KVSH Racing general manager Steve Moore in overseeing the No. 11 Team Hydroxycut KVSH Racing Chevrolet, driven by Sebastien Bourdais. KVSH Racing has a technical alliance with the PIRTEK Team Murray effort for Matthew Brabham in the month of May and the team is expected to add a third car for the Indianapolis 500.

It’s a nice landing spot for Mower, who was team manager of the ill-fated Nissan LMP1 program last year.

While Nissan’s car struggled on track and never ran a hybrid system in its one and only race start at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the work and effort put in by the Mower-led crew was unquestioned – and it’s good to see the crew, who were let go under less than ideal circumstances, sort out landing spots.

Mower joins Brandon Fry and Max Chilton among those from the Nissan LMP1 program now in IndyCar; Fry is working with Chilton as race engineer of his No. 8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.

Mower’s past experience includes the Nissan time, a longer run with Panther Racing from 2008 to 2013, and a prior stint at Conquest Racing from 2002 to 2008, according to his LinkedIn page.

Mower was instrumental in bringing the late Justin Wilson to Champ Car in 2004 with Conquest; Wilson drove for Mower’s Nordic team in F3000, and won that series’ championship in 2001.

James Hinchcliffe on Andretti: ‘It’s certainly the place I want to be’

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Since before the start of the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season, James Hinchcliffe tirelessly has worked to ensure the future would include a full-time return in 2021.

And with an opportunity to run the final three races this season with Andretti Autosport, there seems a surefire (albeit unlikely) path.

“If I go out and win all three,” Hinchcliffe joked with IndyCar on NBC announcer Leigh Diffey in an interview Friday (watch the video above), “it would be hard for them to say no, right?”

Regardless of whether he can go unbeaten at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course next weekend or the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida (where he earned his first career win in 2013), Hinchcliffe will have the chance to improve his stock with the team that he knows well and now has an opening among its five cars for 2021.

All three of Hinchcliffe’s starts this season — the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, July 4 at the IMS road course and the Indianapolis 500 — were with Andretti, where he ran full time in IndyCar from 2012-14.

“Obviously, the plan from January 2020 was already working on ’21 and trying to be in a full-time program,” he said. “I’ve really enjoyed being reunited with Andretti Autosport, and everybody there has been so supportive. It’s been a very fun year for me on track. It’s been kind of a breath of fresh air in a lot of ways.

“It’s certainly the place I want to be moving forward. We’ve been working on that, working on those conversations. Genesys has been an incredible partner in my three races. We’ll be representing Gainbridge primarily, but Genesys will still have a position on our car in the last three.”

Gainbridge is the primary sponsor of the No. 26 Dallara-Honda that was vacated by Zach Veach, who left the team after it was determined he wouldn’t return in 2021. Hinchcliffe can empathize having lost his ride with Arrow McLaren SP after last season with a year left on his deal.

“You never want to earn a ride at the expense of somebody else in the sense that has happened here with Zach,” Hinchcliffe said. “I feel bad that he’s not able to see out the last three races of his season. I’ve got a lot of respect for him off track. He’s been a teammate this year, a colleague for years before that and honestly a friend for years before that. I’ve got a lot of time for him and his family. I understand a little bit of what it’s like in that position and what he’s going through.”

Hinchcliffe is ready to seize the moment, though, starting with the Oct. 2-3 doubleheader race weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He had been hoping to add the Harvest Indy Grand Prix to his schedule and had been working out for the possibility.

“Then last week I had given up hope (and) was resigned that wasn’t happening,” he said. “I told my trainer, ‘I think we’re done for this year.’ Three days later, this call comes. I’m glad we didn’t make that decision too early. I feel great physically.

“I look at it as a great opportunity to continue to show I’ve still got what it takes and should be there hopefully full time next year on the grid.”

Watch Hinchliffe’s video with Leigh Diffey above or by clicking here.