Panther Racing Mid-Ohio Qualifying Report

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Panther Racing

Hildebrand Scores Best Career Road Course Start; Qualifies 13th at Mid-Ohio

National Guard Panther Racing Driver Returns to Course Where He Made His IndyCar Series Debut in 2010

National Guard Panther Racing driver JR Hildebrand secured his best non-oval starting position of his young career Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, where the 23-year-old Californian will start in 13th for tomorrow’s Honda Indy 200. Hildebrand narrowly missed advancing to the second round of Firestone Fast Six qualifications; finishing seventh in his group, just a few hundredths behind Alex Tagliani, who was the sixth, and final, driver to advance out of the initial round of qualifying.

J.R. Hildebrand, Panther Racing
J.R. Hildebrand, Panther Racing

Photo by: Ted Rossino

Hildebrand posted a total of eight laps in his group, with a top time of 1:09.416 seconds, which was just behind Tagliani’s best time of 1:09.340 seconds.

Mid-Ohio is the same track where Hildebrand made his IZOD IndyCar Series debut in 2010 while subbing for a then-injured Mike Conway at Dreyer& Reinbold Racing. He finished 16th last season while driving the No. 24 entry. Hildebrand’s best qualification effort of the season is a fourth-place start at Iowa Speedway and his previous best qualifications effort on a non-oval track was a 15th-place start earlier this season at Barber Motorsports Park.

Hildebrand’s habit of moving up the grid on road and street courses could be more fruitful this weekend with a better starting position. JR hasimproved his finishing position relative to where he qualified by a total of 64 positions in his six road/street course starts; St. Pete (+13), Barber (+2), Long Beach (+10), Brazil (+12), Toronto (+14) and now Edmonton (+13). Hildebrand has also completed 100 percent of the possible 495 laps held this season on road and street courses.

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Series INDYCAR
Tags hildebrand, indycar, mid-ohio, panther