NEWTON, Iowa — Andretti Autosport has long been the team to beat at Iowa Speedway.
On Sunday, James Hinchcliffe put an exclamation point on Andretti’s dominance there with the best race of his career.
Hinchcliffe cruised to victory in the IndyCar Series race, leading all but 24 of 250 laps. He became the first three-time winner this season and gave Andretti Autosport its fourth consecutive victory at Iowa’s .875-mile oval, the shortest track on the circuit.
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Hinchcliffe’s teammate, battled back from last place to finish second. He was followed by Tony Kanaan, Ed Carpenter and Graham Rahal.
Hinchcliffe took the lead on the opening lap and ceded control only briefly during pit stops. He joined Kanaan, Marco Andretti and Hunter-Reay as Iowa winners for Andretti Autosport since 2010.
But none of those runs was as dominant as the one Hinchcliffe put together this time around.
“I’ve watched guys win races like this on TV, and my whole career I thought ‘I just don’t get it. How do they do that?’ I’ve never been in that position. And now I know. You have to have a hell of a good car. You have to have a hell of a good crew and just hit your marks all afternoon long,” Hinchcliffe said. “Man, it feels good to do it like that.”
Now the next step for Hinchcliffe is consistency.
Despite earning his first three career wins this season, Hinchcliffe is 66 points behind series leader Helio Castroneves because of five finishes of 15th or lower.
“He’s been either feast or famine. He either wins or he has problems. But he knows he’s capable of winning,” team owner Michael Andretti. “If he can hopefully get through all his problems and continue to do what he’s doing, he has a good shot at a championship.”