04/26 2018



James Hinchcliffe let out one of racing’s dirty little secrets this weekend.PHOTO BY MOTORSPORT IMAGES-LAT

Hinchcliffe had nowhere else to go during rain delay


Admit it, we’ve all been there — nature is calling and you have to use the bathroom, but there isn’t an exit in sight. So you just sit there and hold it as long as you can, hoping you get to a service station or a McDonald’s or a rest stop in time.

For Verizon IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe, that moment came during the rain in Sunday’s first part of the Honda IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama. During the first red flag of the race, Hinchcliffe was soaking wet and needed to get out of the car to use the restroom. But IndyCar Series officials were not allowing the drivers out of the cars hoping to get back on the race course as soon as possible.

Hinchcliffe held it in as long as he could before he admitted the inevitable to NBCSN’s Kevin Lee during Sunday’s live race telecast.

“I always maintained that I knew at some point in my career it would happen,” Hinchcliffe said. “There’s a great story from Toronto in 2014 when poor Carlos Munoz is sitting in the car just begging to be let out (during a red flag when drivers had to remain in their cars). We’re under red-flag conditions, same kind of deal. He finally said, ‘Sorry, guys. I can’t hold it.’ They said, ‘You can’t get out.’

“He pees in the seat. Not 30 seconds later, race control comes over the radio and says, ‘All right, drivers out. We’re done.’”

During the red-flag stoppage on lap 19, Hinchcliffe “joined the crowd.”

“Well, I was sitting there during that first red, and I was begging to get just three minutes,” Hinchcliffe said of his plea to make a restroom run. “That’s all you need. Three minutes, (steering) wheel off (to get out of the car) to wheel on.”

Hinchcliffe’s request was denied and, following a 37-minute red flag, cars were restarted and sent back on track.

“We got going again and my legs were shaking,” he said. “I had to go so bad. I was like, ‘I can’t drive a race car like this.’

“So under caution, it took me a full lap (to relieve himself). It was one of the least comfortable experiences of my entire life, but I can officially say I’ve joined the likes of Will Power and Dario Franchitti and others who have peed themselves in their suit.

“So, you’re talking to a man who just wet himself.”

Munoz and Franchitti both responded to Hinchcliffe on Twitter.