SONOMA, Calif. (AP) _ James Hinchcliffe never thought he'd need dancing shoes for the road to stardom.
Turns out the race car driver, who has no experience at all on the dance floor, can cut an impressive rug.
Hinchcliffe closed the first week of "Dancing With The Stars" tied for the highest score with gymnast Laurie Hernandez. It was a shock to Hinchcliffe, who seemed to be a natural on his feet.
"I hadn't been through anything on a dance floor, good, bad or indifferent," he said Saturday. "Doing it not only in front of a live studio audience, but a live television audience ... it was very nerve wracking. I honestly don't remember much of the dance at all. I just remember ending and thinking, 'that actually went pretty well.'
"I was floored by the scores and the judges' comments. Couldn't have gone any better. Problem is we set the bar high and people will expect good dances. Not sure we can repeat that."
Hinchcliffe had a tight turnaround this week from his new gig on "DWTS" back to his real job driving in the IndyCar Series. He'll race in the season finale Sunday at Sonoma Raceway, then focus full-time on his budding television career.
The Canadian driver hosted dancing partner Sharna Burgess at the track this weekend, but had to focus on racing and not dancing.
It's back to learning the pasa doble after the race in time for Monday night's episode.
"I had never danced in any appropriate way before. I had never danced in any sober way before," he said. "I was a complete neophyte going into this. Before the show, I had no desire to learn how to dance. It was just not even on my radar. I can now say I've kind of learnt to enjoy it quite a bit.
"The expectations going in were quite low."