James Hinchcliffe admitted his surprise that Tony Kanaan moved up on him on track at the Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday evening, and in doing so caused a multi-car wreck at turn three.
The Schmidt Peterson Motorsport driver had recovered from losing a lap early on after a spin in pit lane and a drive-through penalty for avoidable contact, and was in between Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kanaan and Hinchcliffe’s team-mate Mikhail Aleshin when the clash happened.
Kanaan moved up on Hinchcliffe, who had nowhere to go as he collected Aleshin, with a number of cars getting involved in the crash behind as they had no where to go and no time to react.
“We had a run on (Tony Kanaan) and he had plenty of room on the left, but he just came to the right,” said Hinchcliffe. “If you look at the replay, he comes all the way from the white line to the middle of the racetrack, just pinched me into Mikhail (Aleshin).
“Either his spotter didn’t tell him we were three wide or what, but I couldn’t go anywhere, I was sandwiched in the middle. I was not expecting him to do that; Tony has more experience in this kind of pack racing than anybody.
“I went wheel-to-wheel with him last year for the win and nine times out of 10 would do that all day long, but for whatever reason, he wasn’t playing very nice today and wrecked a lot of good equipment.”
Hinchcliffe felt that the way the race at Texas unfolded with pack racing right through the field meant that this kind of crash was more likely, but at least he was happy everyone escaped the crash unscathed.
“It turned into way more of a pack race than we’ve had here in a long time, which unfortunately, leads to situations like this,” said Hinchcliffe. “A lot of good cars taken out, but I’m glad everybody’s OK.”