Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Andretti Team Gets New Blood

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Andretti Team Gets New Blood

Article excerpt

Perhaps you won't halt your trip to the bathroom or kitchen when a commercial featuring James Hinchcliffe pops on your TV screen this Super Bowl Sunday.

But while James Hinchcliffe may not offer the sex appeal of Danica Patrick, at least to most male IndyCar racing fans, Hinchcliffe just might offer Andretti Autosport a chance for more success than the much-publicized Patrick did.

Hinchcliffe was introduced on Wednesday as Patrick's replacement as driver of the No. 27 Chevrolet.

Patrick has left IndyCar to participate full time on NASCAR's Nationwide Series circuit and will also run several Sprint Cup races this year.

Hinchcliffe is projected to be a good fit to replace Patrick on the Andretti Autosport team owned by Nazareth native Michael Andretti and featuring his son Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay.

The 25-year-old Canadian is coming off a big 2011, when he earned the IndyCar IZOD Series Rookie of the Year title with three top- five and seven top-10 finishes. He finished fourth at the Long Beach, New Hampshire and Kentucky races.

"James is a perfect addition to our team," Michael Andretti said. "He's got a lot of talent and we believe he will be great for our driver chemistry. He will definitely grow and thrive with Andretti Autosport."

Knowing Patrick was likely to bolt, Andretti had an eye on Hinchcliffe as a possible replacement.

"What caught my eye last year with James was how well he did with his teammate ?Oriel Servia?," Andretti said. "Oriel is a very experienced guy, very fast. And many times and in many places, James outraced him and out-qualified him. That says something. That was a good benchmark for us to look at."

Hinchcliffe, who is not afraid of publicity and enjoys standing out in a crowd, also appeals to officials, who also like to be different.

"Obviously, godaddy had a lot of say in this decision because it was about who was going to represent their product," Andretti said. …

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