Rain Day in Long Beach Leaves Hildebrand in 5th on Speed ChartPress Release
LONG BEACH, Calif. – (April 13, 2012) – A rare rain-filled day in southern California limited the amount of practice laps for all entries in the IZOD IndyCar Series Friday as teams continue to prepare for Sunday’s Grand Prix of Long Beach. National Guard Panther Racing driver JR Hildebrand finished fifth on the combined speed chart for the day, after the Californian turned a total of 13 laps and posted a quick time of 89.030 mph, 1:19.5781 seconds.
Last Year: Panther at Long Beach, 2011:
Play-by-Play of Hildebrand’s IndyCar Debut in the Grand Prix of Long Beach, 2011:
· Qualified in 27th position
· Hildebrand improved a total of 10 positions during the 2011 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach to finish in17th
· Hildebrand was running in 19th position when contact between Takuma Sato, Sebastian Saavedra, Graham Rahal, and Charlie Kinball on Lap 67 resulted incarbon debris on track. Hildebrand hit the debris, causing a puncture to his right front tire.
· When the field restarted on Lap 70, Hildebrand was running in 16th position.
· Hildebrand felt a problem with his rear tires, and the team elected to pit to ensure there were no serious problems. He returned to the field in in 17th position.
SGT Jesse H. Hendrick Named Panther’s Long Beach Hometown Hero:
Panther Racing has named SGT Jesse H. Hendrickas its honorary Hometown Hero for the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg weekend. Panther began its Hometown Hero program in 2008 to help highlight an extraordinary Soldier from each respective state’s National Guard. Each hero participates in the IndyCar Series driver autograph session during the race weekend and sits next to Hildebrand while signing aspecialty-made hero card. The hero also takes an IndyCar Experience two-seater ride, is honored during an awards presentation in the team’s hospitality unit prior to the race and is also recognized on the pre-race stage in front of the crowd prior to the start of the race.
Additional notes on SGT Henrick are posted below:
- Enlisted in the military on November 20, 2001
- Deployed to Iraq in support of operation Iraqi Freedom
- Enlisted in the California Army National Guard on April 28, 2008
- Attended warrior leaders course in October of 2005, and exceeded course standards
- Completed Modern Army Level 1 Combatives Training Course in August, 2010
- Named the 578th Engineer Battalion 2010 soldier of the year
- Named the 2011 California Army National Guard soldier of the year
- Placed 2nd in the 2011 Region 7 National Guard Best Warrior Competition
JR Hildebrand, No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet:
(On returning to Long Beach)
“I’m pumped to get back out to Long Beach. It’s just such a well run event, it really doesn’t matter if you’re coming as a spectator or if you’re racing, it’s the kind of place that you know you’re going to have a good time. My Indy Lights season got kicked off there a few years ago, and anytime you go back to a track where you’ve won a race before it’s a special experience. Everybody on the National Guard team is excited to see how we’re going to progress on these road and street courses, and we made a huge step in qualifying last week at Barber. I’m excited to get our Chevy out on track this weekend and see what we’ve got.”
(On Friday’s rain-shortened practice)
“Things are so drastically different once things dry up that today was really about the drivers getting out there and getting used to the track. We got out today and ran a few laps today in the National Guard Chevy, but with the track being wet today and knowing the weather should be better the rest of the weekend, we didn’t want to risk it too much. We’ll be out early tomorrow to run some more but we’ve been happy with how everything has gone so far thisweekend. I’ve always enjoyed this race and we’re all anxious to get some laps in tomorrow.”
The Grand Prix of Long Beach will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network, with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network, XM Channel 94 and Sirius Channel 212. Practice, qualifying and race coverage is also available on the new IndyCar Mobile app from Verizon.
Source: Panther Racing, Press Release
Article Tags: Firestone, Firestone Firehawk Tires, IICS, IndyCar, IZOD, IZOD IndyCar Series, J.R. Hildebrand, Long Beach, Long Beach (CA), No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet, Panther Racing, Streets of Long Beach, Streets of Long Beach (CA), Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach