Panther Racing press release
Rice, Hildebrand Complete First Las Vegas Practice Session Thursday
IZOD IndyCar Series Field Conducts First Practice Session, 34-Cars Set to Qualify Tomorrow
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (October 13, 2011) – The IZOD IndyCar World Championships at Las Vegas kicked off Thursday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where 34 IndyCar Series cars recorded lap times in preparations for the 2011 season finale on Sunday at the 1.5-mile oval. Panther Racing drivers JR Hildebrand and Buddy Rice combined for a total of 88 laps and finished 24th and 26th, respectively, on the final speed chart for the day.
Hildebrand led the team with a top speed of 221.360 mph, 25.1102 seconds and Rice was just behind his teammate with a top speed of 221.002 mph, 25.1509 seconds. There is another practice session tomorrow before IZOD IndyCar Series qualifications for Sunday’s 200-lap event. This is the first time IndyCars have competed at Las Vegas since 2000.
The IZOD IndyCar World Championships at Las Vegas will be broadcast live on ABC at 3 pm Sunday, October 16thwith additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 94 and Sirius channel 212.
JR Hildebrand, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda: “We had a pretty good day. I didn’t put in any major lap times and we spent a lot of time running in traffic and feel really good about where we’re at. Just in a general sense, the racing this weekend is going to be crazy. The number of cars outthere that could run side-by-side, from being three-wide from one pack to another was pretty intense and was almost easy as long as you could stay aware of where cars are around you. The race is going to be really exciting for the fans and in the end that’s what we’re all here for.”
Buddy Rice, No. 44 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Dallara Honda: “It was a good day for us in the Fuzzy’s Vodka car. The car feels good, and we’ll make a couple more adjustments for tomorrow heading into the practice and the qualifications. We’ll see if we can’t qualify closer to the front than we did in Kentucky, that way we can be more racy at that start and I think that will make a big difference where we end up.”