James Hinchcliffe is returning to Andretti Autosport for three races this season, including the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500. The popular Canadian was ousted late in the offseason and had to scramble to find something for the 2020 NTT IndyCar series season. After landing support from Indianapolis-based company Genesys, Hinch has hooked up with his former team where he won three races earlier in his career. James will drive the No. 29 Honda in both of the races at Indianapolis this May, as well as the race at Texas Motor Speedway in June.
Andretti will field a total of seven cars in the 500 this year – the five regulars plus Hinch and their partnership with MSR’s Jack Harvey. While team owner Michael Andretti did say there could be more races added to his schedule as the season progresses, he has already ruled out a potential opportunity in Toronto. If Hinchcliffe is unable to find a ride for that race, the only remaining Canadian driver in the field would be rookie Dalton Kellett. The full press release from today is below.
[Andretti Autosport Press Release]
For James Hinchcliffe the 2020 Month of May marks a bit of a homecoming as the Canadian driver returns to Andretti Autosport, the team with which he celebrated his first INDYCAR® SERIES victory in 2013. Hinchcliffe will strap into the No. 29 Honda, carrying Genesys® colors as he enters the GMR Grand Prix, his eighth Indy 500 effort and the Texas 600 in June.
The 2016 Indy 500 pole sitter, Hinchcliffe, holds a total of 139 INDYCAR race starts, collecting six wins since his 2011 series debut, and counts seven Indy 500 race starts under his belt. Together, through the 2012-2014 seasons, Hinchcliffe and Andretti recorded three INDYCAR victories, 15 top-five finishes and nine front-row starts, including sitting twice on the famed front row of the Indy 500.
“Honestly, it’s so nice being able to announce some more good news,” said Hinchcliffe. “It’s no secret that the 2020 season isn’t going to be exactly what we were expecting, but being able to start the new year with the announcement that Genesys was stepping in to save our season and partner with us was awesome, and now adding the next big piece in my reunion with Andretti Autosport just really makes it feel like the momentum is going our way. I can’t wait to work with this group again and to get back behind the wheel of an IndyCar!”
The fan favorite driver announced on Jan. 16 that Genesys, a leading provider of cloud customer experience and contact center technologies, will serve as his primary sponsor at two of INDYCAR’s marquee events. The No. 29 Honda will take on the orange, white and charcoal of Genesys, a company with a major employee presence in Indianapolis and nearly 60 offices worldwide. Genesys technology helps organizations around the globe connect more than 70 billion customer moments each year across voice, text, messaging apps, web chat and social media.
“We’re really pleased to be able to welcome James back into the Andretti team,” said Michael Andretti. “He has, for sure, been knocked down a few times by this sport and to be able to help him meet the challenge is really special. We had a lot of fun, and some great successes with James when he was part of the team before, and we’re really looking forward to picking up where we left off.
“I’d also like to welcome Genesys to the Andretti family for their first experience in INDYCAR racing. We now have three, major Indiana-based companies in our portfolio, along with several other brands that call Indianapolis home. It’s special to see these companies supporting Indiana’s home sport of INDYCAR racing, and we’re proud to carry them each with us. We are looking forward to working with James and the Genesys team to deliver both on and off-track success.”
Hinchcliffe joins five teammates for the Indianapolis 500 with Andretti Autosport’s full-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES stable of Alexander Rossi (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS / AutoNation Honda, 2016 Indianapolis 500 champion), Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 28 DHL Honda, 2014 Indianapolis 500 champion), Colton Herta (No. 88 Honda, Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport), Marco Andretti (No. 98 U.S. Concrete / Curb Honda, Andretti Herta Autosport with Marco Andretti and Curb-Agajanian) and Zach Veach (No. 26 Gainbridge Honda).
The 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge kicks off with practice days beginning Tuesday, May 12, leading to Crown Royal Armed Forces Qualifying May 16-17. The main event goes green at 12:45 p.m. ET Sunday, May 24, with live broadcast on NBC.