Panther Racing press release
Hildebrand Qualifies in the 20th Position for Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma
Sausalito, California Native Makes Return Home Behind Wheel of National Guard Panther Racing No. 4 Car
SONOMA, Calif. (August 25, 2011) – Local favorite JR Hildebrand will start his second IZOD IndyCar Series race on his home track of Infineon Raceway from the 20th position after qualifications were held on the 12-turn, 2.303-mile road course Saturday afternoon. Team Penske driver Will Power captured the pole position for tomorrow’s Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, and he will be joined on the front row by teammate Helio Castroneves.
Hildebrand turned a total of five laps during the first qualification round, and posted a top speed of 104.332 mph, 1:19.4654 seconds. He started in the 19th position in his second career IndyCar start with Dreyer& Reinbold in 2010, and was fighting for a Top Five finish when he tangled with Marco Andretti and was knocked out of the race. He also set the fastest lap of the race in the No. 24 during the event.
Hildebrand is currently 13th in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings, but only six points away from ninth-place driver Graham Rahal. He also leads the Rookie of the Year standings by a total of 17 points ahead of Newman/Haas driver James Hinchcliffe.
The Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, which will be broadcast at 4:00 pm (EST) on VERSUS, with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 94 and Sirius channel 212.
JR Hildebrand, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda: “It’s obviously disappointing not to be higher up the grid, because we know the National Guard car is really strong. We thought the track would get a lot quicker from thelast session, so we made some changes in anticipation of needing to go quicker to advance. If I had repeated my time from the practice session we would have been through to the Top 12, but the track wasn’t really there for a big lap like we needed. We’ve raced well all year when starting in the second half of the field, so that’s certainly our plan for tomorrow.”