Sports

Fortunate pit strategy lifts Hinchcliffe to win in rainy, crash-filled Indy GP of Louisiana

  • Winner James Hinchcliffe, center, of Canada, runner up Helio Castroneves, left, of Brazil, and third place finisher James Jakes, of England, celebrate with Mardi Gras beads after the IndyCar Grand Prix of Louisiana auto race, Sunday, April 12, 2015, in Avondale, La. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

    Winner James Hinchcliffe, center, of Canada, runner up Helio Castroneves, left, of Brazil, and third place finisher James Jakes, of England, celebrate with Mardi Gras beads after the IndyCar Grand Prix of Louisiana auto race, Sunday, April 12, 2015, in Avondale, La. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)  (The Associated Press)

  • Simon Pagenaud (22), of France, and Sebastien Bourdais, back left, also of France, come to a stop off the track after a crash during the IndyCar Grand Prix of Louisiana auto race, Sunday, April 12, 2015, in Avondale, La. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

    Simon Pagenaud (22), of France, and Sebastien Bourdais, back left, also of France, come to a stop off the track after a crash during the IndyCar Grand Prix of Louisiana auto race, Sunday, April 12, 2015, in Avondale, La. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)  (The Associated Press)

  • Tony  Kanaan (10), of Brazil, slips off the track to the left of Helio Castroneves (3), of Brazil, during the IndyCar Grand Prix of Louisiana auto race, Sunday, April 12, 2015, in Avondale, La. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

    Tony Kanaan (10), of Brazil, slips off the track to the left of Helio Castroneves (3), of Brazil, during the IndyCar Grand Prix of Louisiana auto race, Sunday, April 12, 2015, in Avondale, La. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)  (The Associated Press)

James Hinchcliffe cruised to what may go down as the easiest victory of his IndyCar career Sunday at the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana.

The Canadian had a wet track and a fortunate pit strategy to thank for it.

Hinchcliffe, racing for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, pitted only once on lap 13, and then spent much of his day leading the field around the NOLA Motorsports Park under a full-course yellow flag.

Because of several wrecks in the traffic behind him, 25 of 47 laps were run under caution. The race was supposed to run 75 laps, but ended — fittingly under caution — as a timed race.

The last chance the drivers had to race under green was cut short by a spectacular three-car wreck involving Simon Pagenaud, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Sebastien Bourdais early in the first lap of a restart with less than 10 minutes remaining.