IndyCar Driver Review: JR Hildebrand

Leave a comment

With the IndyCar season in the books and a limited amount of news to come since the season finale at Fontana, my MotorSportsTalk colleague Chris Estrada and are taking a look back at the 2013 season just past. Chris and I each ranked our top 10 drivers and some of the biggest stories; now we take a look back at the field driver-by-driver.

P25 was Panther’s former driver who rebounded briefly with Barracuda Racing, JR Hildebrand…

2013 SEASON PREVIEW

JR Hildebrand

  • Teams: Panther Racing, Barracuda Racing
  • 2012: 11th Place, Best Finish 5th, Best Start 4th
  • 2013: 25th Place (7 Starts), Best Finish 5th, Best Start 10th, 1 Top-5, 1 Top-10, 4 Laps Led, 16.3 Avg. Start, 16.6 Avg. Finish

DiZinno says: At least Alex Tagliani lasted 13 races this year before he and Herta went their separate ways; Hildebrand lasted only five with before his unscheduled appointment with Indy’s Turn 1 wall cost him his seat at Panther Racing. JR had been solid if unspectacular in two and a half seasons, and an engineering change to add Tino Belli would have eventually paid dividends; sadly, we never got to see that bear fruit. But Hildebrand’s stock rose as neither Ryan Briscoe nor Oriol Servia was able to do better, neither beat JR’s best result of fifth, and Hildebrand performed well enough in his two California cameos replacing, incidentally, Tagliani. A second chance at another team would be welcomed for the American driver.

Estrada says: Hildebrand started the 2013 season with a bizarre crash at St. Petersburg and following the Indy 500, it looked like it would end with one as well when he lost his ride with Panther Racing after hitting the wall on Lap 3. But as luck would have it, the California native got to suit up in his home state for Barracuda Racing at Sonoma and Fontana. Hildebrand looked sharp in those two outings, and was even threatening to score an upset win late at Fontana until a mechanical problem knocked him out with less than 20 laps to go. He did himself a favor with that effort going into the off-season, but it remains to be seen if the former Indy Lights champion will make a return in 2014.

IndyCar at IMS Friday: How to watch, start times, live streaming info

IndyCar Indianapolis start times
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

With three races remaining in the NTT IndyCar Series season, Scott Dixon has a commanding lead and history on his side entering Friday’s opener of the Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The five-time series champion leads defending champ Josef Newgarden by 72 points.

Since 2014, the points leader with three races left has won the championship in five of the past six years, including Dixon in ’18.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver has led the championship standings following every round after opening 2020 with three consecutive victories. Dixon also led the points by 78 points with three races remaining when he won the title in 2008.

Dixon, Newgarden, Pato O’Ward, Colton Herta, Will Power, Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato are championship eligible.

Anyone outside 108 points of the lead after Indy will be eliminated heading into the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida.

Here is the IndyCar Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course schedule for Friday (all times are ET), including details and start times:


Indianapolis Motor Speedway TV schedule for Friday

IndyCar Harvest GP Race 1: 3:30 p.m., USA Network, NBC Sports Gold and streaming on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com); Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for IndyCar on NBCSN this weekend with analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy.


IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 1 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway start times, information

COMMAND TO START ENGINES: 3:53 p.m.

GREEN FLAG: 4 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 85 laps (207.35 miles) around Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s a 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in Indianapolis.

TIRE ALLOTMENT: Nine sets primary, five sets alternate (A 10th set of primary tires is available to any car fielding a rookie.) Teams must use one set of primary and one set of alternate tires in the race.

PUSH TO PASS: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.

FORECAST: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 57 degrees with a 0% chance of rain at the green flag.

QUALIFYING: 6:20 p.m. Thursday (NBC Sports Gold)

ENTRY LIST: Click here for the 25 drivers racing this weekend at Indianapolis