James Hinchcliffe, the 2011 Izod IndyCar Rookie of the Year, has signed with Andretti Autosport to drive the GoDaddy car in 2012, replacing Danica Patrick after her departure to NASCAR full-time.
If you're a casual race fan who doesn't watch much IndyCar, you're probably wondering "Who's that?" or typing his name in the search bar in the top right corner. But don't worry, you may know him soon enough given all the GoDaddy ads during sporting events.
"I'm stepping into her heels, if you will," Hinchcliffe laughed about replacing Danica Patrick as the driver of Andretti Autosport's Go Daddy-sponsored No. 27 Chevrolet in 2012. "But that's part of what makes this deal so exciting because they did such a good job with Danica and her Go Daddy Girl image. I hope that makes me the first Go Daddy Guy."
Hinchcliffe, 25, drove for now (sadly) defunct Newman-Haas Racing in 2011 and had fourth place finishes at Long Beach, Loudon and Kentucky -- and he narrowly beat out the same initialed JR Hildebrand for the rookie of the year award. Hildebrand was leading the Indianapolis 500 on the final corner before he crashed and finished second to Dan Wheldon.
While Hinchcliffe is replacing Patrick, the ride was reported to be Wheldon's in 2012 before Wheldon was killed in a crash October 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The addition of Hinchcliffe puts Andretti Autosport now at three full-time cars for 2012 along with Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay. Michael Andretti, owner of Andretti Autosport, will be on 'Celebrity Apprentice' in February.