James Hinchcliffe, wearing a mask featuring his face, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during qualifying on Aug. 15, 2020. Hinchface

On Tuesday, James Hinchcliffe announced he was stepping back from full-time IndyCar racing. On Thursday, “The Mayor of Hinchtown” revealed that “funemployment didn’t last long” because it was announced that Hinchcliffe will be a motorsports analyst for NBC.

Hinchcliffe’s focus will primarily be on the NTT IndyCar Series but he will also take part in “select” IMSA WeatherTech Championship series broadcasts. The Canadian racer replaces another Canadian, Paul Tracy, who revealed last week that he and NBC “decided to move on and go in different directions.”

Hinchcliffe is no stranger to broadcasting. When he was racing on a part-time IndyCar schedule in 2020, Hinchcliffe was a pit reporter on NBC’s broadcasts in addition to being an analyst for a couple races in the Camping World SRX Series on CBS in 2021. Hinchcliffe’s naturally fun personality and his ability to convey his knowledge of IndyCar racing to viewers garnered praise from many. And with his driving career currently at a crossroads, Hinchcliffe decided to pivot more toward the broadcasting side of the industry.

“I couldn’t be more excited to join the NBC Sports team this year,” said Hinchcliffe. “I got a taste of calling INDYCAR back in 2020 and that really solidified my desire to get into this side of the sport. It’s always been a passion of mine to educate people about INDYCAR, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to help tell those stories from the booth alongside a couple of pros in Leigh [Diffey] and Townsend [Bell].”

“James Hinchcliffe is one of the most dynamic personalities in motorsports and we’re excited to bring ‘The Mayor of Hinchtown’ straight from the car and into the booth for NBC Sports,” said Sam Flood, executive producer and president, NBC Sports and NBCSN. “James’ engaging personality, combined with his unique perspective of what these drivers are experiencing in real time, will be a great addition to our motorsports coverage.”

The Dancing With the Stars runner-up will make his 2022 IndyCar broadcasting debut on Sunday, February 27, in St. Petersburg for IndyCar’s first race of the season.

[NBC Sports Group]

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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