James Hinchcliffe will pilot the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda for Andretti Autosport for the remainder of the 2020 season, following Zach Veach‘s departure from the team on Wednesday.
Hinchcliffe has already run three events with Andretti this season, piloting the No. 29 Genesys Honda for the season opening Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway, the GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, and the Indianapolis 500.
The “Mayor of Hinchtown” also raced for Andretti from 2012 to 2014, and team owner Michael Andretti credits their relationship with the Canadian driver as the reason why he was chosen.
“It’s always unfortunate to have to change drivers this far into a season, but we have to look at finishing the year the best we can for the 26 team and start evaluating and looking at options for 2021,” Andretti said.
“James has an existing relationship with our team that we’d love to build on and it makes the most sense for him to step in for these last three races. We are looking forward to seeing what he can do.”
Hinchcliffe, who was released from Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (now known as Arrow McLaren SP) in 2019, empathized with Veach’s decision and is exited to finish the season strong for the team.
“I know, probably better than most, what Zach is feeling right now, and I have to say that he has handled everything about as class act as you can,” Hinchcliffe said.
“I’ve known Zach as a teammate, before that as a colleague and even before that as a friend, and he is a guy that I respect in every way. I know he is a fighter and will fight back to where he wants to be.”
“For me now, my focus is 100% on racing the Harvest GP and getting the best possible results for Gainbridge, for Honda, for Michael and for the team. I obviously haven’t been on a road course in a while, but at least the last time I was, it was here at IMS! Hopefully that puts us in a good position to go out there and have a strong weekend.”
The Harvest IndyCar GP doubleheader will take place October 02-03 at the IMS road course.