Hildebrand gets second DRR Indy 500 seat, guarantees need for bumping

JR Hildebrand has been announced as the second Dreyer & Reinbold Racing entry for the 2018 Indianapolis 500

Hildebrand gets second DRR Indy 500 seat, guarantees need for bumping

Hildebrand has been without an IndyCar seat since he was dropped by Ed Carpenter Racing at the end of 2017.

He now returns to the team he began his IndyCar career with, when he contested two races for DRR in 2010 after winning the Indy Lights series the year before.

DRR had previously confirmed that it would expand to a multi-car entry for this year's race and has held no secret of its ambition to return to IndyCar full-time in the future.

Team boss Dennis Reinbold revealed that attempts to get Hildebrand in an Indycar early have not proved fruitful.

"Right now we're scheduled to run May 1st with Sage [Karam, DRR's other Indy 500 entry] on the refresher day," he said.

"We've asked and requested to also try to put JR in a car at some point in time just to get a shakedown. Right now the answer is no.

"I know everything is short in terms of parts and spares, but it's a brand-new car. Our two cars are brand-new cars, so we want to try to do anything we can to prepare and shake those down before we open up for practice.

"We did talk about that. We put in the proper request to different people at Chevy as well as IMS [Indianapolis Motor Speedway]. We're trying not to push or burden them or whatever, but we would like to try to test the car."

Hildebrand now brings the field to 34 cars, meaning that bumping will return as predicted by Autosport.

He says that the return of bumping adds another dimension to his Indy 500 bid.

"Any time you see the car count going up, it's always a reflection of the sport kind of trending in the right direction" he added.

"Indianapolis is obviously sort of a whole entity, the Speedway, the 500, a whole entity all itself in a lot of ways.

"I think I can speak for our deal coming together, how seamless it sort of was, how excited everybody is to get involved.

"I certainly get the feeling being a part of it [IndyCar], being a part of the series, that it's trending the right way.

"I'm looking forward to [bumping] a little bit - as if qualifying isn't stressful enough - a little bit of extra tension built in, which ought to be fun.

"You can always feel that in the air on pole day. We'll see how it all shakes out."

shares
comments
Newgarden tips Rossi and Wickens as his 2018 IndyCar title rivals
Previous article

Newgarden tips Rossi and Wickens as his 2018 IndyCar title rivals

Next article

Schmidt Peterson team carrying me early in IndyCar season - Wickens

Schmidt Peterson team carrying me early in IndyCar season - Wickens
How Ericsson achieved Indy immortality as Ganassi's main man stumbled Plus

How Ericsson achieved Indy immortality as Ganassi's main man stumbled

Chip Ganassi Racing team was strong again in the Indianapolis 500, with poleman Scott Dixon and reigning champion Alex Palou leading almost three quarters of the race between them. But when dominator Dixon was penalised for pitlane speeding, ex-Formula 1 driver Marcus Ericsson stepped up to score the biggest win of his career and seize the IndyCar points lead

IndyCar
May 30, 2022
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 21, 2021
How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential Plus

How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential

Romain Grosjean's swashbuckling rookie year in IndyCar captured the imagination of many in 2021. But another ex-Formula 1 driver whose potential was masked by five years of toil in, at best, middling machinery also enjoyed a breakout year in 2021 - winning twice and finishing sixth in points. Here's how Marcus Ericsson finally delivered on his promise

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best Plus

How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best

IndyCar sophomore Alex Palou stunned by overcoming team-mate Scott Dixon and the rest of a white-hot field in 2021. He was consistently fast and crucially showed a level head, rebounding well from setbacks to put himself in a near unassailable position entering the final round

IndyCar
Nov 4, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Plus

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Despite appearing to have an IndyCar job for life with Meyer Shank Racing, Jack Harvey’s departure and move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate. However, Harvey's and RLL's combined strengths could prove to be a winning combination - if they get the balance right

IndyCar
Oct 17, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win Plus

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win

Saturday 16 October marks the 10th anniversary of Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Plus

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong junior career and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star Plus

Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star

Newly-crowned IndyCar champion Alex Palou has been lauded as a complete driver and veteran-like in only his second season. The 24-year-old is still in the early days of his career, but the parallels are there for all to see with his six-time champion Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate who has been CGR's team leader since 2014

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021