Miscue costs Hinchcliffe shot at third

DEAN MCNULTY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:46 AM ET

INDIANAPOLIS - James Hinchcliffe blames himself for his sixth-place finish in Sunday's Indianapolis 500.

He thought he had a shot at third place, but a miscue on the final pit stop put him back in the field.

“We were running up there in the fourth/fifth positions and we were the top running Chevy for a while there,” the Oakville, Ont., driver said. “But on my last pit stop, I overshot the box by a mile and that really but us behind.

“I felt terrible, but we had the car to come back up through the field again and generally I thought we had the pace for a third- or fourth- place.”

At the same time, Hinchcliffe was mightily peeved that IZOD IndyCar officials allowed drivers behind him on the grid to hold back on restarts so they could get a run going into Turn 1.

“Those restarts, man, the way guys were falling back and getting a big run,” he said. “It is not in the spirit of competition. I try to drive with some dignity out there. But I guess with 30 (laps) to go in the Indy 500, that goes out the window.

“I am kind of disappointed that race control let that happen. With the closing rate on the front straight hanging back like that, it was flat out dangerous.”

IndyCar bosses apparently agree as the series said that from now on restarts will all be double-file as they were up to this race.

“I’m also glad that (IndyCar race director) Beaux Barfield said in the drivers meeting that, in the future, we are going to go back to double file restarts that will eliminate things like this,” he said.

At the end of the day, however, Hinchcliffe was pleased that he was able to maintain his record of never finishing lower that sixth in any race this season.

“I am getting sick of this No. 6 ... Every time we finish sixth, we have had more than that in the car but for some reason or another haven’t been able to put it together,” he said. “But as I’ve said before and I’ll say it again: If sixth is a bad day for us we are doing something right.”


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