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Hinchlcliffe ends Canadian skid, wins Honda Grand Prix

The SportsXchange

St. Petersburg, Fla. -- James Hinchcliffe wears red driving gloves in honor of fellow Canadian driver Greg Moore. He'll carry a trophy for himself.

Hinchcliffe wrapped himself in the country's flag after winning the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg for his first Izod IndyCar Series victory. He held off three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves by 1.09 seconds.

The last Canadian to win a race in this sport was Paul Tracy in a 2007 Champ Car World Series race in Cleveland.

Hinchcliffe won in the car that was supposed to be for Dan Wheldon, who was killed in a 2011 crash the day he signed with Andretti Autosport. Wheldon called this track his home track, living just a few miles north of here.

Andretti teammate Marco Andretti finished third with Tony Kanaan fourth, Scott Dixon fifth and Simona De Silvestro sixth.

The rest of the top 10 was a fierce battle in the final laps. EJ Viso, whose Andretti car crashed in practice due to a failed suspension, finished seventh ahead of Takuma Sato in his first race for A.J. Foyt Racing. Justin Wilson and Alex Tagliani rounded out the top 10.

Will Power arguably had the strongest car, but he was effectively eliminated on Lap 81 when, during a caution period, JR Hildebrand ran over his back.

Hildebrand said he didn't see Power's car slow behind others, and he went over the right side of Power's car.

Power, who was third at the time of the incident, dropped back to 16th with a flat right rear tire. He got to 12th before he slid through Turn 4 and bumped the tire barrier.

Reigning series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay also had trouble. He had a throttle issue that caused him to slow in Turn 10. Several cars took evasive action to avoid hitting Hunter-Reay, but Graham Rahal couldn't. The contact wasn't great, but it was enough.

There was the usual amount of contact on the tight street circuit lined with concrete. Sebastian Saavedra, while battling with an issue to his left front wing, ran into the Turn 10 wall.

Dario Franchitti also hit the wall after storming out of the pits with new tires. They weren't up to temperature and he slid through the bumpy Turn 3. That ended his day, and he finished last in a 25-car field.
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