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Hinchcliffe takes Long Beach Indy Lights win

James Hinchcliffe finally broke his Indy Lights victory duck by leading every lap in Long Beach.
by Lynne Huntting

Firestone Indy Lights polesitter James Hinchcliffe led from flag to flag at Long Beach to claim his first series victory in 18 starts.

The Team Moore Racing driver led all 45 laps of the event, bettering the 20 he headed in 2009 at Kentucky, the only other Lights event where he hd run up front. The victory also eased athe blow of seeing another pole position, in St Petersburg earlier this year, disappear when he was assaulted into retirement at the first turn.

"It feels like it has been a long time coming," 'Hinch' admitted, "We had a couple of close calls last season, and starting from the pole in St Pete didn't work out for us, but, all weekend long, the Team Moore Racing car was great, and I owe a huge thank you to all of the boys.

"Today's win was also a relief. There was a lot of pressure last year to win a race and we didn't get that done, so that weighed heavily on my mind all through the off-season.

"To get a first win out of the way and another pole is huge. Basically, it was a perfect weekend for us, and to do it here in Long Beach, at one of the staple events on the IndyCar Series calendar, is phenomenal. It was a huge relief and hopefully the first of many."

"We had a really good rhythm and pace, and then I kept seeing those yellows come out, but we had a great car on the restarts. Today was about not making mistakes, and it was great to have the pole.

The Canadian came home ahead of Charlie Kimball and points leader JK Vernay, who had started in the reverse order with Vernay alongside Hinchcliffe on the front row. However, once Kimball passed the young French driver, they stayed in that position for the duration, with Kimball equalling the career-best result he took last weekend at Barber Motorsport Park.

"I'm really pleased with my second podium finish in a row," the AFS/Andretti Autosport pilot admitted, "With Long Beach being like a home race for me, I was lucky to have friends and family here cheering for me, and the #26 car ran well all weekend.

"[Sebastian] Saavedra hit me before the start so I was worried about my right rear pretty much all race, but I had to focus on getting past 'Hinch'.

“I tried everything I could, threw the kitchen sink at him, but just couldn't catch him.”




Related Pictures

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James Hinchcliffe - Team Moore Racing   [pic credit: IRL/McQueeney]
Conor Daly and his father, Derek, at their 2015 Indianapolis 500 announcement with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday April 25 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
(L to R) Derek Daly, Sam Schmidt, Conor Daly, and Ric Peterson announce their entry in the 2015 Indianapolis 500 at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday April 25 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon on course during qualifications for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday April 25 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves wins the Verizon P1 Award for winning the pole for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday April 25 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves wins the Verizon P1 Award for winning the pole for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday April 25 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves wins the Verizon P1 Award for winning the pole for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday April 25 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves wins the Verizon P1 Award for winning the pole for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday April 25 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 AAA.com Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, races fastest to win the pole during qualifying Saturday, April 24, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 AAA.com Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates winning the pole during qualifying Saturday, April 24, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, finishes second fastest during qualifying Saturday, April 24, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Power will start in the front row next to teammate Helio Castroneves who won the pole position. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Penske Truck Rental Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, finishes third fastest during qualifying Saturday, April 24, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Pagenaud and Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Will Power had the fastest qualifying times. Castrovenes won the pole position. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves celebrates winning pole position for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday April 25 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves celebrates winning pole position for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday April 25 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves celebrates winning pole position for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday April 25 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves celebrates winning pole position for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday April 25 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves celebrates winning pole position for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday April 25 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon with his Coca-Cola Chevrolet following practice for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday April 25 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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