Hinchcliffe scrambling for results in contract year

James Hinchcliffe. Picture: James Black

James Hinchcliffe is chasing a big result this weekend to take into the IndyCar Series’ summer break to strengthen his case for a 2022 drive.

The Canadian veteran, who debuted in the top-tier in 2011, is in the midst of a dreadful campaign for Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport.

Hinchcliffe is yet to claim a top 10 finish this season and sits 20th in the overall points.

Speaking at Mid-Ohio, he acknowledged it’s not the ideal scenario at a time when he’s off-contract.

“It’s nice to have a good year one year when you’re in a contract situation. Tough to have a bad year when you’re in a contract situation,” said Hinchcliffe, who affirmed his desire to continue in the category full-time next year.

“But we have to put all those distractions out of your head and just focus on the job.

“We’ve been racing IndyCars for 10 years now for a reason. Just have to get doing what we have been doing and hopefully it all comes together.”

After a solid Practice 1 overnight at Mid-Ohio, the six-time IndyCar race winner is hopeful of a stronger performance this weekend.

“It’s only Practice 1 but certainly a good start,” he said.

“And hopefully we can keep the momentum up and have a good place to start the race, have a good race and start to carry the momentum to the last part of the season.

“It’s always good to go to the winter off a couple of strong results. It’s great to start the season strong, too.

“We have still half a chance to make that come true… we need to keep putting down good performances, start putting down good performances, keep that momentum going, and we’ll see what happens for next year.”

Out of the Andretti stable, Colton Herta and Alexander Rossi are under contract for 2022, while Ryan Hunter-Reay is in the same boat as Hinchcliffe.

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