Ed Carpenter Racing announced today the signing of JR Hildebrand to pilot the team's second entry at Indianapolis, marking the first time the young team has expanded to an extra entry.
“We, at Ed Carpenter Racing, are very pleased to bring J.R. Hildebrand into our Indy 500 effort this year,” said Carpenter. “J.R. has been the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year and an Indy Lights champion, so his credentials are very impressive. It is great to have another American driver in the 500 this year and competing with ECR. We believe a second car at Indy will assist us in preparing for a strong performance in this year’s Indy 500.”
Hildebrand will run the #21 with 'corporate partnership' backing to be announced at a later date. The 26-year-old will team with ECR owner and defending Pole winner, Ed Carpenter.
Hildebrand, who was released from his full-time drive with Panther Racing following last year's Indy 500, competed at Sonoma and Fontana late in the season with Bryan Herta Autosport with whom he was a leading candidate for a full-season deal this year. The Californian's Verizon IndyCar Series career began with DRR in 2010 where he filled in for an injured Mike Conway at Mid-Ohio and Sonoma before landing the open Panther seat in 2011 and 2012, famously finishing runner-up to Dan Wheldon's second Indianapolis 500 victory in 2011.