National Guard Panther Racing driver JR Hildebrand missed advancing to the second round of qualifications at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course by less than a hundredth of a second, and will start 14th for tomorrow’s Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. Panther tested here last week and the results have been evident, as Hildebrand finished eighth in the morning practice session and nearly advanced into the second round of qualifications for the second time this season.
He finished seventh in his group, just behind rookie Josef Newgarden, with a top lap of 1:06.3768 seconds, 122.464 mph. Hildebrand made his IZOD IndyCar Series debut at Mid-Ohio in 2010 driving for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing as a replacement for a then-injured Mike Conway. Panther’s best finish here came in 2008, when Vitor Meira led 21 laps before finishing in the sixth position.
JR Hildebrand, No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet:
“In a session like that where everything gets quicker there definitely are some spots where you look back and say, ‘Yeah, that could have been a couple hundredths.’ It can actually come from any number of a bunch of different spots. It’s frustrating for us to not transfer through, but at the same time we’ve had a strong National Guard Chevy all week and we’ve been able to work well with Oriol (Servia) in terms of working with us on the setup. Overall it’s a good team effort and we’ve been right there in terms of speed all weekend and now we’ve got some time to work on our strategy for the race.”
Source: Panther Racing