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James Hinchcliffe returns to Andretti Autosport

James Hinchcliffe
James Hinchcliffe. Credit: Chris Jones via IndyCar Media.

Andretti Autosport confirmed on Friday that James Hinchcliffe would rejoin the team for the remainder of the 2020 season

The ‘Mayor of Hinchville’ is back in the driver’s seat. One day after Zach Veach announced he was leaving the team, Andretti Autosports has replaced him with James Hinchcliffe. The Oakville, Ontario native will take over the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda for the rest of the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season.

Hinchcliffe has not had a full-time ride this season after leaving Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, now known as Arrow McLaren SP. However, he has competed in three events this year, the Genesys 600 at Texas Motor Speedway, the GMR INDYCAR Grand Prix, and the Indianapolis 500, all with Andretti Autosport. In those races, he piloted the No. 29 Genesys Honda.

“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,” Hinchcliffe said in a release. “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.”

AUDITIONING FOR A 2020 RIDE?

The 33-year old Hinchcliffe has three races to impress Michael Andretti or anyone else who might be looking for a driver in 2021. It all begins with the doubleheader in the Indianapolis Road Course in the INDYCAR Harvest GP Oct. 2-3. A six-time winner in IndyCar, he is a ten-year veteran of the series.

“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,” said Michael Andretti, Chairman and CEO of Andretti Autosport, in a release. “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 also shared his thoughts about Veach.

“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. 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.”

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