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IndyCar Driver of the Year 2011: 7th

You voted James Hinchcliffe into 7th place in Crash.net's IndyCar Driver of the Year poll!
Top 10 IndyCar Driver of the Year 2011:
7. James Hinchcliffe

Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
Team: Newman/Haas Racing
2011 starts: 16
Poles: 0
Wins: 0
Top 5: 3
Top 10: 7
Championship points: 302
Championship position: 12th

Runner-up in the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights series, Canada's James Hinchcliffe got a delayed start to his 2011 IndyCar Series opportunity when he was signed by Newman/Haas only after the first race of the season at St Petersburg had already been run.

He didn't make it to half-race distance in his deferred d├ębut at Barber Motorsports Park, but he then finished in fourth place the very next time out at Long Beach and went on to finish in the top ten again in the appalling wet weather conditions in Sao Paulo.

Suddenly, people were paying much closer attention to the Mayor of Hinchtown. There were two more back-to-back top ten finishes mid-season at Milwaukee and Iowa, and two more fourth place finishes at New Hampshire Motorspeedway and Kentucky, as he demonstrated a consistent improvement in performance as the season went on and his confidence and expertise grew.

The Newman/Haas team even managed to scrape together enough sponsorship money to include Hinchcliffe in the long-haul flyaway race to Japan in October after all - it not having been included in the original contract. Motegi wasn't a great result for him in itself, but without it his six point lead over JR Hildebrand in the battle for the Rookie of the Year would have been reversed and he would have ended up losing out for the accolade.

Having had such a good start to his IndyCar career while also establishing himself as a popular member of the IndyCar family, it was devastating to hear that he might now find himself without a seat altogether in 2012 after the news broke about Newman/Haas' exit from the series. Surely someone will recognise his talent and his sheer likeability and ensure that the young Canadian isn't out of work next year?

Top 10 IndyCar Driver of the Year 2011 results so far:

8. Graham Rahal
9. Ed Carpenter
10. JR Hildebrand



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
James Hinchcliffe (CAN - Newman/Haas Racing) relaxed with his team during the Rookie Orientation Program at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Thursday, May 12 [Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
James Hinchcliffe in the pits during Saturday practice at Motegi. [Picture credit: Brian Simpson for IndyCar Media]
James Hinchcliffe poses for two photographs at the same time at Motegi. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
James Hinchliffe on track at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. August 2011. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Canadian local hero James Hinchciffe an unsurprising favourite with the press and media at Edmonton. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
James Hinchcliffe [Picture credit: IndyCar media]
Conor Daly leads at the 2014 Dan Wheldon Memorial kart event   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Sage Karam, driver of the #8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Records Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his third-place finish Saturday, July 18, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Wichita State University CFH Racing Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, celebrates his second-place finish Saturday, July 18, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Sage Karam, driver of the #8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Records Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a third-place finish Saturday, July 18, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Wichita State University CFH Racing Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, races to a second-place finish Saturday, July 18, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay takes the twin checkers to win the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)

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