In qualifying, James Hinchcliffe keeps hero close to heart

In honor of Greg Moore-a prominent Canadian open wheel driver who died in 1999 in a crash-the Andretti Autosport driver wore his gloves inside his racing suit on his way to qualifying second.

SPEEDWAY - Their contrast of colors make little fashion sense, but their purpose is the complete opposite.

Atop his green car sit a pair of red gloves marked with the number 27 on the top of the hands. They're the only thing that doesn't seem to match the lime green suit and car fitting of his Go Daddy sponsorship in the Izod IndyCar series.

This pair, however, is meant to resemble the heart less than the color palette.

"He was my hero growing up," said James Hinchcliffe of Greg Moore-the reason to which he sports such gloves.

Like Hinchcliffe, Moore was a young Canadian driver who was experiencing success at a young age. He won five races an collected 17 podiums in four years in CART and was signed to join Team Penske following the 1999 season.

He never made it. In the final race of that season at the Auto Club Speedway in California, Moore got off the course, hit an inside wall and flipped over and over in his machine. Under an hour later he was pronounced dead and his promising life and career ended as it began.

Where Hinchcliffe becomes involved is the fact that Moore never had to chance to take laps at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Had Moore lived he would have had that opportunity a number of times but following his death his seat went to Helio Castroneves.

A few weeks before testing was to being on the two-and-a-half mile oval, a former mechanic approached Hinchcliffe with a way to honor his hero.

"A guy who was a good friend of his came up to me and said 'Greg never went to the speedway, would you mind taking these for a few laps,'" said Hinchcliffe of receiving the gloves.

A dark red and worn a bit, the gloves feature a signature of the late more on the white fabric on the back of the hand. Hinchcliffe has had them in his possession since practice began, but decided to finally bring them into the car with him on Saturday.

"I decided to hang onto them for qualifying because that is the coolest part of all," said Hinchcliffe-but he didn't wear them.

Like the rest of his trials this month in Indianapolis the driver sported his own red gloves when stepping into the car. When it came to Moore's gloves, he placed them inside his racing suit and placed them near his heart.

The remained there when he finished with the top speed in the first qualifying session and in the shootout where he finished second by .003 of a second to Penske's Ryan Briscoe.

"He was the man, he was my guy. So to have the honor of carrying him around on those laps, it meant an awful lot to me," said Hinchcliffe.

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