What does it take to get IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe to say, “Mmm, Bop. Bop, bop, doo wow?” Well, he’s got a large race ahead of him this Sunday in the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 on NBC starting at 9am (Phoenix time). And yes, it has something to do with that.
But his story at the famed oval is that of a love-hate relationship. From his May 2015 practice crash that nearly took his life to oddly not running fast enough to qualify for the 2018 version of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. But in the middle of those bad memories is his 2016 redemption story when he was the fastest driver and he sat on the pole, the #1 spot, to lead the field to the green flag. Racing, like many things in life, is an emotional roller coaster of a ride.
Just how tough is racing, however? Many want to make the argument about drivers not being physically fit athletes, which we know is asinine. Drivers are about as physically fit as a human can be! But what about the mental side of the sport? How long does a fierce crash, a summer in the hospital, a drive through pit penalty or a loose lug nut affect anyone?
Sure, James is the athlete with the quick wit and sense of humor who once took himself, yellow boxers and all, through a dog wash… just because! But as we’ve discussed many times on our show, all athletes have the mental blocks that any human being can experience. Believe it or not, athletes have real issues, like you and me.
So we began asking James about how mistakes can weigh on him for a while, like they do with anyone in life, and how he can rebound from them.
And he gets serious… for a little bit… then one of his crew members drops something in the background, and without hesitation you hear James’s humor yet again, “Just put that anywhere guys, that’s fine!"
Listen for the full nine minutes to hear his thoughts on his fellow Canadians Drake, Celine Dion and what his family has to do with Carly Rae Jepsen. And Hanson? Wait. What?
And somehow that’s how we circle back (see what I did there) to Mmm, Bop!