Hildebrand Secures Fourth Row Spot, Bell Provides Late-Day Drama with Two Late Qualification Runs

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - (May 18, 2013) – National Guard Panther Racing driver JR Hildebrand will start next weekend’s 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500 from the 10th position, the 25-year-old Californian’s best career start in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Hildebrand will start on the inside of the fourth row, after the National Guard team narrowly missed out on making the day’s Fast Nine Shootout – finishing within a couple hundredths of a mile an hour to Andretti Autosport driver James Hinchcliffe.
“I’m really happy for all the Panther guys and the National Guard crew to be where we’re at,” JR said. “And being able to start 10th will be just fine for race day. We worked super hard at this, and everybody on the National Guard crew knows that next weekend is what matters.”

Hildebrand posted qualifications laps of 227.704, 227.532, 227.511 and 227.016 mph for a four-lap average of 227.441 mph.

“And at the end of the day being 10th versus being up there in seventh or eighth doesn’t make that big of a difference,” Hildebrand explained. “But we are little bit bummed that we didn’t make it into the Top Nine. Especially when we’re as close as we were to Hinch, and we were right there until that last lap. We worked all week on our racecar, and we feel like that is super quick, so we’ll see what we’ve got next week when it really matters.”

The 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race will be held on Sunday, May 26th and broadcast live on ABC starting at 12 pm (ET) with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network, XM/Sirius Channel 211. Practice, qualifying and race coverage is also available on the IndyCar Mobile app from Verizon.

Panther Racing’s Qualification History for the Indianapolis 500:
2012: JR Hildebrand (18th)
2011: JR Hildebrand (12th); Buddy Rice (8th)
2010: Dan Wheldon (18th); Ed Carpenter (8th)
2009: Dan Wheldon (18th); Scott Sharp (20th)
2008: Vitor Meira (8th)
2007: Vitor Meira (19th); Kosuke Matsuura (17th); John Andretti (24th)
2006: Vitor Meira (6th)
2005: Tomas Scheckter (11th); Tomas Enge (10th); Buddy Lazier (9th)
2004: Tomas Scheckter (10th); Mark Taylor (14th)
2003: Sam Hornish, Jr. (18th); Billy Boat (29th); Robby McGehee (31st)
2002: Sam Hornish, Jr. (7th)
2001: Sam Hornish, Jr (13th)
2000: Scot Goodyear (13th)
1999: Scott Goodyear (9th)
1998: Scott Goodyear (10th)

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