James Hinchcliffe secures ex-Danica Patrick Andretti Autosport IndyCar seat that Dan Wheldon had been set for
|By Mark Glendenning||Tuesday, January 10th 2012, 09:45 GMT|
James Hinchcliffe has been signed as Dan Wheldon and Danica Patrick's replacement in the Go Daddy-backed Andretti Autosport entry for the upcoming IndyCar season.
Wheldon had originally secured a deal to take over the NASCAR-bound Patrick's seat for 2012 on the morning of his fatal accident in last year's season-finale at Las Vegas. Hinchcliffe told USA Today that taking the place originally earmarked for the Indy 500 winner was a huge responsibility.
"That weighed on me from the first phone call," the Canadian said. "I look at Dan Wheldon as a tremendous racecar driver and a champion, but also a tremendous person. I'm going to think about him every time I get into that car. There's no doubt that a part of me will be driving for Dan this year."
Hinchcliffe won last year's IndyCar rookie of the year honours on the strength on his performances with the Newman/Haas team, which included best results of fourth in Long Beach, at New Hampshire and Kentucky.