TORONTO (AP) — James Hinchcliffe had no idea how poorly he's run in Toronto, his hometown race.
He knew the results weren't great — last year in particular — but had no clue his eighth-place finish in the first of two races in 2013 was his career-best finish.
"Is that the best I've done is eighth? I knew it was bad. I didn't realize it was that bad," Hinchcliffe said Thursday.
Hinchcliffe loves returning to the street course at Exhibition Place, the track he credits for sparking his love of racing. But he heads into this weekend's doubleheader in desperate need of a successful weekend. The Oakville, Ontario, native has been plagued this season by disappointing results, mechanical issues, collisions and a concussion suffered when he was hit by debris at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
Although he finished sixth last weekend at Iowa, Hinchcliffe heads home with finishes outside the top 10 in seven of 12 races. He's 11th in the IndyCar standings.
He blames his results on a lot of bad luck.
"Running for a podium in Indy GP and somebody smoked me in the head with a piece of a wing. I mean, like why does that happen? Who does that happen to? It's just been one of those years," Hinchcliffe said.
"It is frustrating, certainly, because I don't think the results match the effort in the job that the whole team is doing. But at the end of the day, we're sleeping well at night because we're executing very well, and it's just really been a function of wrong place, wrong time a lot of the time this year."
Hinchcliffe's bad luck appeared to be on the verge of ending when he returned from the concussion to qualify second for the Indianapolis 500. But his hopes for a win ended when he collided with Ed Carpenter late in the race.