J.R. Hildebrand and National Guard/Panther Racing Ride Into Alberta With Two Straight Top Ten Finishes on Street Courses
EDMONTON, Alberta (July 21, 2011) – This weekend marks the fourth year the IZOD IndyCar Series returns to the Edmonton City Centre Airport for the Honda Indy Edmonton. Located in Alberta Canada, the 2.2-mile track incorporates sections of airport runway to help comprise the 13-turn course. With two long straight-aways, tight corners and tough break zones, Edmonton promises some of the closest action yet in the 2011 season. This will be the first season the IZOD IndyCar Series has competed on the new track layout.
Though this will be Hildebrand’s first race on the Edmonton course in an IndyCar, he captured a first-place finish in Firestone Indy Lights in 2009. Currently ninth in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship points chase, Hildebrand is the highest ranked rookie driver in the standings. An eighth place finish in the Honda Indy Toronto means that in 10 starts, Hildebrand has secured four Top Ten finishes, two Top Five finishes and the team is looking to keep their hot streak alive this weekend in Edmonton.
The past three races at Edmonton has seen Panther finish 20th in 2010 and 15th in 2009 with driver Dan Wheldon, and 19th in 2008 with driver Vitor Meira.
The Honda Edmonton Indy, will be broadcast live on VERSUS on Sunday, July 24th at 2:00 pm (ET) with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 94 and Sirius channel 212.
JR Hildebrand, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda:
“Based on our track walk today, the straights are longer and the corners are a lot tighter than I originally thought, especially with the changing conditions we might be dealing with the possibility of some weather rolling in. It’s definitely going to be tough, given that it’s a new track for all of us. That puts a priority on adapting quickly. We had a strong car in the rain in Brazil and hopefully that serves us well if there is weather up here this weekend. Otherwise we’ll be looking to continue improving based upon where we’ve been in the previous few races here.”
– Panther Racing, Press Release