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Jul 15, 2013 - 06:32 AM
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Canadians Can't Contend for IndyCar Honda Indy Toronto Win
Posted by: BGerhart on Jul 15, 2013 - 06:30 AM
Feature Articles
Canadians Can't Contend for IndyCar Honda Indy Toronto Win


By Brad Gerhart

Back luck for James Hinchcliffe, before the green flag even waved in his hometown race. Hinchcliffe suffered a stuck throttle on his No.27 GoDaddy Chevrolet, his team did their best to resolve the issue before the standing starts began, but they ran out of time. They hoped they could fix everything and start from their pit stall, but he fell three laps down once he left the pits.

I was just going through the routine of the standing start, and as soon as I put my thumb on the throttle, it stuck 100% and that was about a minute before they gave the command (to start engines). We tried WD40, but unfortunately that wasn't the magic fix,” said Hinchcliffe.
When the team went to check the faulty throttle, it actually worked and they could not find anything wrong with it. A bizarre twist to add to Hinchcliffe’s difficulties at his hometown track, where he’s not finished inside the top-seven in four career IZOD IndyCar starts.

 

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While Hinchcliffe’s race went instantly out the window, Alex Tagliani drove a smooth race consistently inside the top-10 until he pitted on lap 53 when he surrendered his eighth position and came out of the pits in 15th. When the field cycled back and the 85 lap race went back to green on lap 71 Tagliani found himself just outside the top-10 in 11th. Due to a late race incident involving the top-10 cars of Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Takuma Sato, Tagliani moved up to 10th, where he would finish when the race ended under caution. “I gave it everything I had out there for the Barracuda Racing boys,” Tagliani said.

Once Hinchcliffe got back onto track he found the needed speed right away, he posted the fifth fastest lap time of the race (1:00.1753), but of course, being several laps down, meant that he really had no chance to make up significant ground to contend for anything. Hinchcliffe stayed out of trouble on track, with a 21st and the mysterious throttle issue cost him two spots in the championship (is now eighth) and he’s 120 back of second place Honda Indy Toronto finisher, Helio Castroneves.

Although he feels for his team and the work they put in over the weekend, Hinchcliffe was more down on the fact that all the fans came out to support him and he could not produce, due to mechanical problems. “Obviously gutted for the team and for GoDaddy, but more than anyone for the fans. It sucks for everyone that came out today... we were hoping for better in my hometown,” said Hinchcliffe. “But we weren't going to give up - I wanted to go out, finish the race and get any points we could."

It’s been a decade since Paul Tracy became the last Canadian to win on home soil in 2003. The Canadian race fans will have to wait at least another year to have a chance for one of their own to stand atop of the podium again.


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