James Hinchcliffe can’t wait to start his first Verizon IndyCar Series race of 2016 after a serious injury in practice for the 2015 Indianapolis 500 kept him out of most of last year’s season.

While the changes in the car have the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver pumped to get the season under way, he’s most looking forward to visiting the new venues that have been added to the 2016 schedule.

“Honestly, the thing that excites me is the new races,” Hinchcliffe said.

“Phoenix (April 2) coming back on the schedule, Boston (Sept. 4) I am hoping is just going to be a blockbuster event, and then we’re going back to the best road course in the country (Road America, June 26). There are a couple of tracks we’ve added that are very exciting and I am looking forward to them.”

In Part 2 of Hot Topics, on the eve of this weekend’s season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, drivers talk about cagey veterans, aero kits and the impact of more European-trained drivers choosing INDYCAR as a career path.

To read more, please click here.

Photo via INDYCAR

Photo via INDYCAR

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