- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- Rep. Henry Cuellar on border crisis: ‘Playing defense on the one-yard line’
- Activists vow to occupy fast-food restaurants to get higher pay
- Rep. Luis Gutierrez: Senate Dems wary of immigration politics
- Summer camp for 1 percenters: Sushi, limos and shopping at FAO Schwarz
- Colorado gun crackdown law found to be built on faulty data
- Hank Aaron steps to fundraising plate for Democrat Michelle Nunn
- ISIL terrorists blow up burial site of Jonah, vow more of same
- Impeach Obama, say 35 percent in new poll
- Taliban yank 14 Shiites off bus, bind and shoot them on Afghan road
Andretti signs Hinchcliffe and moves to Honda
Question of the Day
The team, meanwhile, will switch from Chevrolet to Honda.
The manufacturer change to Honda announced before Saturday night’s season finale at Auto Club Speedway had been expected after rival Chip Ganassi said two weeks ago he was moving to Chevrolet.
The re-signing of Hinchcliffe went down to the wire. Not only did Andretti need a new primary sponsor to replace GoDaddy, but Hinchcliffe had been in discussions with Ganassi on a multi-series program. Hinchcliffe’s hope had been that the Ganassi deal would eventually lead him to the team’s No. 10 car currently driven by Dario Franchitti.
“The last two years have been tremendous and we’ve spoken so much about the chemistry and the team, and being able to keep the band together is huge,” Hinchcliffe said.
The Canadian was hired by Andretti following Dan Wheldon’s death in a crash in the 2011 season finale. Wheldon had been scheduled to replace Danica Patrick in the Andretti ride, and team owner Michael Andretti then turned to Hinchcliffe, who was looking for a ride following the unexpected closure of Newman-Haas Racing.
Instantly popular among fans off the track, Hinchcliffe clicked immediately with new teammates Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay. He hit his stride this season, where he won his first career IndyCar race in the St. Pete season-opener, and later added wins at Brazil and Iowa.
Instead, Michael Andretti grabbed United Fiber & Data for the No. 27 car. The tech company, which was founded by three members of the multi-platinum rock band LIVE and their Think Loud Development company, will also be an associate sponsor for Marco Andretti and Hunter-Reay, and the primary sponsor for Pro Mazda Champion Matthew Brabham as he moves to Indy Lights next season for Andretti.
UFD director Bill Hynes said Hinchcliffe will be an outstanding spokesman for its tech company.
“We saw how great James was with his prior sponsor, how great he was as a brand ambassador, and we almost want to piggyback to that,” said Hynes. “We just really love the IndyCar product, we really think it’s great platform for us and we really think the face for UFD should be (Hinchcliffe).”
The move to Honda was expected following Ganassi’s decision to join Roger Penske in the Chevrolet ranks. It put the top three IndyCar organizations with the same manufacturer, and a switch to Honda made sense for Andretti. It means he’ll be the top team and not fighting with two others for attention or resources.
“It’s like being back home,” Andretti said. “I have no doubt that together we will see great success.”
“As many of you will remember, the Andretti organization played a major role in Honda’s success during the previous era of manufacturer competition in Indy car racing, and we’re looking forward to adding more victories and championships to an already impressive total,” said Art St. Cyr, President, Honda Performance Development.
“We would like to thank the Andretti Autosport drivers for their on-track achievements that contributed to Chevrolet clinching the 2012 manufacturers’ championship,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “They are all true professionals on and off the track. We wish them well and look forward to spirited competition in the future.”
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- PRUDEN: The Democratic-wannabe mice under Hillary Clinton's feet
- Obama takes aim at 'corporate deserters'
- Crime-ridden U.S. cities differ on ways to fight gun violence
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq