Panther Racing Kicks Off New Hampshire Practice with Hildebrand in 18th
IZOD IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year Frontrunner Turns First Laps of Career on Tricky One-Mile Oval
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (August 10, 2011) – The IZOD IndyCar Series returned to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in a flurry on Thursday after a total of 27driver-and-car combinations participated in the first day of practice in preparations for this weekend’s MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225. National Guard Panther Racing driver JR Hildebrand turned laps on the one-mile oval for the first time in his young career and finished the day in the 18th position on the final speed chart of the day.
Hildebrand turned a total of 151 laps on the day and posted a top lap speed of 166.382 mph, 22.1779 seconds. Panther has made only one previous start at New Hampshire, a runner-up finish with Scott Goodyear in 1998. JR is thecurrent leader in the IZOD IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year standings and ranks in the 10th position overall in the series’ championship standings.
The MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 will be broadcast Sunday at 3:30 pm (EST) on ABC, with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 94 and Sirius channel 212.
JR Hildebrand, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda:
“We felt like we had a pretty good day today. We got caught up a little bit there at the end afterrunning in the Top Ten most of the day, but the team feels good about wherewe’re at right now. Today’s just a test day and there’s always work to be done here rolling into the race weekend. And that’s what makes these short oval tracks such a challenge because you’re right on the edge.”