Friday, November 4, 2016

Hildebrand Signs With Carpenter

Ed Carpenter Racing announced Friday morning the singing of JR Hildebrand's to the team's full-time No. 21 entry.

The seat became available when Josef Newgarden left the team to pilot the No. 2 car at Team Penske.

“Honestly, I just couldn’t be more ready to get started!” said Hildebrand. “I’ve been close to, but still outside of, this role for long enough to really understand and embrace the opportunity to be back in the Verizon IndyCar Series full-time.”

After winning the 2009 Indy Light Championship with Andretti Green-AFS Racing, Hildebrand ran just 2 races in 2010 with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. Panther Racing tested and took a liking to the California native and signed him to run the No. 4 entry full-time.

Fast forward past the famous Turn 4 incident at the 2011 Indianapolis 500 and several other disappointing results, Panther Racing let Hildebrand go following a 33rd place finish at Indy in 2013.

In recent years Hildebrand has found a home with Ed Carpenter Racing competing in the last 3 Indianapolis 500 races in addition to some testing duties. Although his starting positions at Indianapolis have slowly dropped from 9th to 10th to 15th, his much more important finishing positions have improved from 10th to 8th to 6th from 2014 to 2016.

“We first started talking about this in 2013 and the timing has just now worked to give JR an opportunity to show what he can do with a full-time ride," said team owner Ed Carpenter. "The job that he has done for the team each time we have put him in a car the past three years has proven to us that he is the right man for the job."


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