Hildebrand Qualifies 18th for Panther Racing at the Milwaukee Mile
IZOD IndyCar Series Rookie Slated for First Start on Challenging One-Mile Oval
National Guard Panther Racing driver JR Hildebrand will make his first IZOD IndyCar Series start at The Milwaukee Mile tomorrow from the 18th position after qualifying his No. 4 National Guard entry on the outside of Row 10 on Saturday. Hildebrand made two starts at the challenging one-mile track while participating in the Firestone Indy Lights series, finishing 5th(2008) and 2nd (2009) respectively in those events.
During his qualification run, Hildebrand posted lap speeds of 165.286 and 166.861 mph for a two-lap average speed of 166.070 mph. He will start alongside Team Penske championship contender Will Power in the tenth row. JR currently leads the IZOD IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year standings and ranks eighth in the series’ overall championship chase.
Panther has made a total of nine starts in its history at The Mile, with a total of one podium, two Top Fives and four TopTens. The team started and qualified in the third position with Tomas Scheckter in 2005 and collected a fifth-place finish with Vitor Meira in 2007. The last time the IZOD IndyCar Series participated here, in 2009, Panther started 14th and finished 10th with former driver Dan Wheldon.
Ganassi Racing driver Dario Franchitti captured the pole position for tomorrow’s 225-lap Milwaukee 225 and will be joined on the front row by Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves.
JR Hildebrand, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda:
“The National Guard Panther Racing guys gave me a good car. I got a little loose coming to the green through (turns) three and four on the warm-up lap so I ended up letting up a little more than I would have liked on the next couple of laps. I’m a little bit frustrated with that, and that’s on me honestly. We’d been fighting understeer for a majority of the weekend and they dialed that out. We’ve had a great racecar when we’ve done race runs this weekend, so we have high expectations for tomorrow.”
-source: panther racing