Hinchcliffe “stepping away” from full-time IndyCar racing

James Hinchcliffe has announced his full-time IndyCar career is over, but insists he’s not retiring from racing.

Hinchcliffe “stepping away” from full-time IndyCar racing

Hinchcliffe, 35, scored six wins across his 11-year career at this level, putting together three in the space of just 10 races in 2013 driving for Andretti Autosport.

Yet arguably his most memorable moment was scoring pole for what was then the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team at the 2016 Indianapolis 500, just a year after a life-threatening accident at the Speedway sidelined him for the remainder of the season.

Now, off the back of a largely disappointing spell with Andretti Autosport, in which he nonetheless appeared to rally in the final third of 2021 and scored a podium in Nashville, Hinchcliffe has announced he is stepping down from full-time competition.

The personable Canadian’s six wins came in 161 starts, and after spending his rookie season with Newman/Haas Racing which shuttered at the end of the year, the remainder of his career was spent at just two teams – Andretti Autosport and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

 

Quoting Jim Carrey as Lloyd Christmas in Dumb and Dumber, Hinchcliffe tweeted, “I’m going to hang by the bar, put out the vibe…”.

His message to IndyCar fans read:

“In 2011 I realized a lifelong goal of becoming an IndyCar driver. I remember almost every minute of the journey getting there. There were many ups, and many downs. Though all the challenges and uncertainty there were two constants; my unabated desire to make it to IndyCar and my family’s unwavering support.

“In the 11 years that followed, I lived out my dream in a way that a nine-year-old kid, sitting in a kart for the first time, could never have imagined.

“With a decade plus of incredible memories in the bank, I am happy to announce I am stepping away from full-time IndyCar competition. This was not a decision taken lightly, and it was one made with the full support of my family and closest supporters. There were many factors, both personal and professional, that led me to this decision, but it truly felt like the time was right.

“This is by no means a retirement from racing! If anything, this decision has freed me up to dip my toes into other forms of motorsport and explore other interests and opportunities. More on that coming soon!

“I want to thank my teams, teammates, competitors, the IndyCar Series officials, staff and volunteers, sponsors, supporters, of course my family, and last but certainly not least, the fans of IndyCar racing. Without any one of these groups of people, my time in IndyCar would not have been possible.

“Thanks for the memories and I hope to see you all at the track”

Hinchcliffe’s other opportunities are believed to include joining NBC’s IndyCar commentary team, given his eloquence and up-to-date experience. His compatriot and former hero Paul Tracy announced last week that he was departing the booth, leaving a vacancy alongside Leigh Diffey and Townsend Bell.

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