By Panther Racing
Panther, Hildebrand Set to Tackle Bullring Oval at Iowa Speedway IZOD IndyCar Series Runs Last of Four-Race Oval Stretch Before Return to Road/Street Circuit
Panther Racing and driver JR Hildebrand are set to resume the IZOD IndyCar Series stretch of oval tracks this weekend at Iowa Speedway, host of Saturday night’s Iowa Corn Indy 250. This weekend’s race is the final of a four-race oval stretch for the IndyCar Series, before traveling north of the border in two weeks to tackle the challenging Streets of Toronto.
Panther has made a total of five starts on Iowa’s 0.875-mile track, collecting a Top Five finish and two Top Ten results and has led a total of 79 laps in those events. Former driver Vitor Meira appeared poised to win the inaugural IZOD IndyCar Series event here in 2007when a broken suspension while entering pit lane for his final stop of the day ruined an otherwise stellar run for the Brazilian. Meira led 71 laps in IndyCar’s first trip to Iowa. Dan Wheldon also faired well in his first trip to Iowa behind the wheel of Panther’s No. 4 National Guard car, starting sixth and leading the event before settling with a fourth-place finish. Wheldon finished 11th here last season with Panther.
Hildebrand started from the pole position at Iowa in 2009 while competing in Firestone Indy Light and led the race before finishing in sixth place. He started seventh and finished eighth here in 2008, a race in which Panther won with former Lights driver Dillon Battistini.
JR Hildebrand, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda: “Iowa is definitely an exciting racetrack. The last couple years there in IndyCar it’s been a race of survival for the most part. It’s a tight track, and the cars are going so fast respectively that it almost feels like a mini-Talladega. Coming into the weekend with a good race setup is a priority and making good decisions as the weekend goes on will be key for us especially. That’s a lot of laps around such a little place, and things happen quickly for sure.”