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James Hinchcliffe, Andretti Autosport ‘get the band back together’ for the full 2021 season

Hinchcliffe Andretti Genesys

FORT WORTH, TEXAS - JUNE 06: James Hinchcliffe, driver of the #29 Genesys Andretti Autosport Honda, prepares for practice for the NTT IndyCar Series - Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 06, 2020 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

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Andretti Autosport announced James Hinchcliffe will return to the team full time in 2021, including 10 races with sponsorship from Genesys. He will drive the No. 29 Honda.

“It’s kind of like a homecoming,” Hinchcliffe said in a news conference following the Andretti Autosport announcement. “This team has been like family to me since I first joined back in 2012. We always said we would get the band back together. We did a little reunion tour last year, but now we’re fully back together.”

Hinchcliffe, who lost his full-time ride at Arrow McLaren SP after the 2019 season, raced in six IndyCar events last year with Andretti Autosport. Genesys was Hinchcliffe’s sponsor for three of those races. His best finish in 2020 was seventh in the Indy 500.

“We’re really excited to have Hinch back in the car for 2021 and thrilled to welcome Genesys again to the Andretti family, this year in an expanded role,” said Andretti Autosport Chairman & CEO Michael Andretti in a release. “This is just the first step in many exciting things for the No. 29 and we know Genesys will be a great partner serving as the cornerstone to the season for James.”

Hinchcliffe raced with Andretti Autosport from 2012 through 2014 scoring three of his six career wins with the organization. The 2021 season will be his 11th year in IndyCar - a career that has featured 17 podium finishes. With only six starts last year, 2020 marked the first time since his rookie season of 2011 that he failed to score a podium.

“This program is something we’ve been working on since the day we signed our three-race deal with Andretti Autosport last March,” Hinchcliffe said. “Being back full time has always been the goal and it feels so great to know that I will be back on the grid and with such an amazing team, one I’ve had a lot of great memories and success with.

“So many people at Genesys worked hard to get this done, and I am looking forward to representing them this year. ... Even though it’s been a long road, the real work starts now, and I can’t wait to get to the track and kick off 2021.”

Hinchcliffe joins Colton Herta in the No. 26, Alexander Rossi in the No. 27 and Ryan Hunter-Reay in the 28 as the fourth driver for the organization.

Marco Andretti will race the Indy 500 this year, but will step back from a full time schedule in 2021.

Watch the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES get underway at Barber Motorsports Park on April 18 in Birmingham, Alabama, live on NBC.