How does one Verizon IndyCar Series competitor respond to another’s fifth win in the past eight years at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course?
“Big congrats to (Scott) Dixon. I don't know why they don't just give him the trophy when we get here on Thursday,” James Hinchcliffe said.
Dixon’s last-to-first scenario Aug. 3 in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio was the biggest advancement among the 22 drivers. Hinchcliffe’s 14 positions gained to record a season-high third-place finish also was impressive.
“Proud of the guys to get a podium after the year we've had,” Hinchcliffe said of the No. 27 United Fiber & Data Andretti Autosport crew. “We've been fast, haven't had the breaks. I look at that first lap into Turn 4, everybody parting and letting me through was finally the break we were looking for.”
The first-lap caution – one of only two during the 90-lap race on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course – allowed Hinchcliffe to knife his way to sixth place.
Charlie Kimball and Ryan Briscoe, two other Ganassi Racing drivers, also were on the move. Kimball, who earned his first Verizon IndyCar Series victory at Mid-Ohio in August 2013, started 20th in the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car and advanced to finish seventh for his fourth consecutive top 10.
Briscoe gained 11 spots from the 19th starting position in the No. 8 NTT DATA car. It was his fourth top 10 in the past six races.
"We had some issues early in the race with the front wing after the incident on the first lap and we decided to stay out on the damaged wing for a while longer,” Briscoe said. “We finally came in and changed it and then worked really hard to move through the field from the back. The No. 8 NTT DATA Chevrolet made some awesome passes to get up there and the team did a great job getting me back out there after the wing change.
“I still think NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing is knocking on the door of a win, so we'll keep our heads down and get ready for Milwaukee."