"It needs to be in the rule book or they need to tow you back."
IndyCar said Hinchcliffe had a broken wheel and series officials didn't want to risk further damaging his car by towing it back.
"At the same time, we were getting ready to go green as the track was clear, so Race Control made the decision to leave the No. 27 car, and try to bring it back during the next yellow, which never happened," IndyCar said in a statement.
Franchitti, meanwhile, had a second consecutive disastrous race. He went to pit lane 41 laps into the race with an electrical issue after driving from the back of the field into the top-10.
He wound up 25th and is last in the IndyCar Series standings. Through two races, Franchitti is easily off to the worst start of his career; he wrecked early in the season-opener to leave St. Pete last in points for the first time in IndyCar. Franchitti's previous worst start was 2005 when an engine failure in the opener at Homestead caused him to leave the race ranked 18th in the standings.
"We had a header problem and that led to some electrical issues that took out the clutch," Franchitti said. "The guys worked real hard to get the car back together. Tough day for us."