James Hinchcliffe

James Hinchcliffe announced Dec. 14 on social media that he will not race full time in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2022.

Hinchcliffe, 35, from Toronto, has made 161 NTT INDYCAR SERIES starts since his debut in 2011, with six victories. He has recorded one pole position, for the 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge in 2016, just one year after suffering life-threatening injuries in an accident during practice for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

In the 2021 season, Hinchcliffe finished 20th in the series standings for Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport, with a best finish of third at Nashville. This year marked a return to full-time competition after he raced a partial INDYCAR schedule in 2020.

“With a decade plus of incredible memories in the bank, I am happy to announce I’m stepping away from full time IndyCar competition,” Hinchcliffe wrote in a tweet. “This was not a decision taken lightly, and it was one made with the full support of my family and closest supporters. There were many factors, both personal and professional, that led me to this decision, but it truly felt like the time was right.”

During his full-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES career, the self-proclaimed “Mayor of Hinchtown” drove for Newman/Haas Racing, Andretti Autosport, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport. He earned series Rookie of the Year honors in 2011.

Hinchcliffe stressed that he was not retiring from driving and hinted toward an announcement about his future plans. Hinchcliffe figures to be a strong candidate for an Indy 500 ride, and he has competed in the Rolex 24 At Daytona sports car race three times. He also was a popular member of the NBC broadcast teams for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship when not driving in 2020.

“This is by no means a retirement from racing!” Hinchcliffe tweeted. “If anything, this decision has freed me up to dip my toes into other forms of motorsport and explore other interests and opportunities. More on that coming soon!”

Click here to read Hinchcliffe’s full statement on Twitter, titled with this wry phrase that fit Hinchcliffe’s humorous, self-deprecating personality perfectly: “I’m going to hang by the bar, put out the vibe …”