INDYCAR: Hinchcliffe Presented With Special Memento; Receives 99th Indy 500 Starter’s Ring

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INDIANAPOLIS — official series release — IndyCar photo —

James Hinchcliffe might not remove this special ring from his finger for quite a while.

Hinchcliffe, who drives for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, was presented Sept. 30 with a starter’s ring for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race at the SPM facility in Indianapolis. Hinchcliffe qualified 24th in the No. 5 Arrow Lucas Oil Honda, but sustained a serious thigh injury in a May 18 practice crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and was unable to compete in the race.

Herff Jones representative Ken Keltner presented the ring and was joined at the event by Hulman Motorsports chief revenue officer Jay Frye.

“I was looking at my shelf at home where I keep the other (four) rings and was thinking, ‘Man, I’m missing one and it’s always going to bug me,”’ Hinchcliffe said of the memento given to each of the 33 Indy 500 starters every year. “It’s just so generous of Herff Jones to give me one and it makes me feel a little more connected to the race that I didn’t get to do.”

Hinchcliffe missed the remainder of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season while recuperating from the injury. He was recently cleared to drive by INDYCAR medical officials and returned to the No. 5 car Sept. 28 for an offseason team test at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.

“It’s been the light at the end of the tunnel with some good days and bad days in between. Everything went perfect on that day,” said Hinchcliffe, who will make his 75th Verizon IndyCar Series start in the second race of the 2016 season. “I could have gotten back in the car at Sebring, a track I’ve done 8,000 laps around, and it still would have been the best day ever. The fact that we got to do it at Road America, which is my favorite road course in the country, made it that much sweeter.”

CREDIT: IndyCar Communications

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