I thought I’d add a few of my own.
Background: Hinch is in the last year of his contract with Andretti Autosport and some people think his sponsor, Go Daddy, won’t be part of the IndyCar Series in 2014. As a result, some have suggested he is being courted by Chip Ganassi Racing to drive one of the “B Team” cars behind Target “A Team” drivers Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti.
I suggest Hinchcliffe is a hot property and would be a welcome addition to any team in that series. He is a talented driver – three wins this season – and a remarkable public-relations personality. His appearances on the TV motorsport news program Speed Center make the other co-host, Sam Hornish, look nervous and unprepared in comparison.
He's a pro at anything he does. (Photo: He can drive and he can glad-hand: Hinchcliffe in action.)
Despite all that, I won’t be surprised if he’s back at Andretti in 2014 and beyond. And flying the colours of Go Daddy, too.
If not, though, here are some possible scenarios:
1. Between now and the end of the IndyCar season, he flies to Europe and does an F1 test for . . . Williams. If lesser-talents Katherine Legge and J.R. Hildebrand can test F1 cars, why not Hinchcliffe?
F1 needs a North American to get people in the U.S. excited about the sport. Forget an American. There ain’t any these days. Hinchcliffe would fit the bill – particularly if Go Daddy is planning a global push.
And why Williams? I would trust Sir Frank Williams with $50 million. I wouldn’t trust any of the other second-tier F1 teams with a cent. Would you?
2. Roger Penske dismisses Will Power and hires Hinch. Power has lost his touch on the track and his personality doesn't resonate when compared to Hinchcliffe's.
A.J. Allmendinger, who some think would be in the mix to replace Power, might have talent but he’s too much of a loose cannon for Roger. He has trouble controlling his emotions. Let him race in NASCAR where he's supposed to crash.
Roger likes Canadians. When he was young and racing himself, he was up here all the time racing sports cars at places like Harewood Acres and early Mosport. He has a soft spot for this place. He had great success with Paul Tracy (it cost him a few bucks, but what the hell) and had hired Greg Moore to drive for him before Moore died.
Penske Racing would be a great fit for Hinchcliffe, and vice-versa.
3. NASCAR. In that new Go Daddy commercial – Who’s James? – Danica Patrick looks spitting nails angry.
I suggest she’s hearing footsteps. Go Daddy might be happy with her now, but would be a whole lot happier if the car she drives with its name on it was closer to the front, which is where it would be if Hinchcliffe was driving it.
So there you go: F1, Penske or NASCAR.
Every which way, the future looks very bright for James Hinchcliffe.