JR Hildebrand and Panther have gone separate ways after Hildebrand crashed out four laps into the Indianapolis 500.
And with practice starting at Detroit in about 24 hours Panther are going to announce a new driver imminently:
Panther Racing and JR Hildebrand announced today their mutual agreement to terminate JR’s contract with the team that was scheduled to continue through the end of the 2013 season. Hildebrand, the 2009 Indy Lights Champion, made a total of 37 starts in the No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet over the course of the last three seasons. He recorded his best career IndyCar finish of second place in the 95th Running of the Indianapolis 500, and led seven races during his tenure with the team.
“We’d like to thank JR Hildebrand for his contributions to Panther Racing, and especially the work he put into supporting the National Guard and all of our programs to support its soldiers,” Panther Managing Partner John Barnes said. “JR is a great young man, a class act, and somebody who has been a great representative of our race team and all of our partners since 2011. We certainly wish JR, his family and his representatives all the best in the future.”
“I want to thank Panther Racing for the opportunity to drive the No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet,” Hildebrand added. “It was a privilege to represent our men and women in uniform, along with the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe and the team’s veteran employment initiatives. I’m very much looking forward to the next chapter in my IndyCar career, and wish all my friends at Panther the absolute best.”
Panther plans to announce Hildebrand’s replacement for this weekend’s Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit later this afternoon.
Really happy for Ryan – he was great at Sonoma and Baltimore last year.
JR never really set the world alight except for crashing out at Indy, it’s a shame. Briscoe’s a safe pair of hands and will probably do pretty well. Wonder where JR will end up next? NASCAR?
Apparently there were some top brass from the National Guard at the 500 and after he crashed out the National Guard officials pretty much told the team flat out “either he goes or we go”.
Yeah, I thought that might have been it @fisha695, I looked at an add, and at a full tent of military clad men sitting there, and then we had JR doing a 320° for no good reason … that looked pretty embarrassing.
Yup and it wasn’t the first time this season (and in his tenure with the team) either that’s he’s wrecked the car simply because of his own driver error.
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