James Hinchcliffe: “It was a tough finish, for sure”

by Paul Hensby

James Hinchcliffe led for 188 of the 248 laps at Texas Motor Speedway but came up just short, with Graham Rahal taking the victory away from him on the final lap by just 0.0080 seconds, the closest finish in the history of the 1.5-mile oval.

The Schmidt Peterson Motorsport driver was the star of the field all night long, but a late caution brought the others back onto his tail, and despite great driving by the Canadian, he was unable to repel the final challenge from Rahal.

Hinchcliffe admitted that his SPM car was like a rocket all night long under the lights at Texas, and was disappointed to lose out on the victory after leading for so long, but felt IndyCar put a great show on for the fans, especially over the closing laps.

“It was a tough finish, for sure,” admitted Hinchcliffe. “It was a great race. The Arrow Electronics car was just a rocket ship. We built the thing to be good over a tire stint, which is always the name of the game here in Texas. Tire degradation is key.

“We haven’t had a late-finish, three-wide battle here in Texas since 2011. It was tough. We kept a lot of guys at bay. Like I said, we really built the car for long runs and on those restarts we kept them at bay a couple times but ultimately, Graham (Rahal) and TK (Tony Kanaan) stopped for tires and I think that was kind of the difference maker.

“It’s a tough call but huge credit to the Arrow Electronics boys because the car really was a rocket and congrats to Graham. It’s a lot of fun racing up there with those guys and I think we put on a much better show for the fans than we would’ve if we were leading by half a straight. We’d have liked it better but we’re here to put on a good show.”

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