here’s no doubt that racing is a physical
sport. In-car cameras and data monitoring
of drivers, as well as cars, has helped
non-racers understand the stress and
beating a driver experiences in a racecar.
It’s also a mental sport. There’s a reason
that when a driver earns a nickname like
“professor,” it’s spoken with reverence.
Racing is high-speed chess, requiring
quick thinking and lighting fast reactions.
Unfortunately, the human brain is far
from perfect. We’re far too prone to let
our minds wander, to let negative
thoughts affect our decision making.
That’s why the best athletes of all kinds
are good at pushing out the distracting
thoughts, and letting their minds
For a Verizon IndyCar Series driver like James Hinchcliffe, keeping the
mind as uncluttered as possible helps keep the focus on going fast.
on the streets of
Long Beach. (RIGHT)
Crossing the yard of
bricks and heading to
Turn 1 at Indianapolis
concentrate on the task at hand.
Affable James Hinchcliffe may seem to
be the antithesis of that thinking man,
chess player athlete. Quick witted, always
ready with a joke – even willing to campaign
to be one of the Indy 500 Festival
Princesses – the Mayor of Hinchtown
enjoys his racing and having fun. But
when he straps into the No. 5 Schmidt
Peterson Motorsports Arrow Electronics/
Lucas Oil Dallara-Honda, it’s game on.
Going from glad-handing fans and
sponsors to pushing the limits of one of
the highest-performing racecars on the
planet requires an instant switch from
people person to being one with the
machine. The mental juggling required to
get there is worth exploration, starting
with before you even climb onboard.
“I’m very unsuperstitious, on purpose,”
the Ontario native says. “If you believe
the order in which you put your gloves on
has an influence on the outcome of the