Archive for May 30, 2013

2013 JR released_BRISCOE_COVER

Former Team Penske Driver and IndyCar Race Winner to Take Reins of No. 4 Entry This Weekend

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – (May 30, 2013) – Two-time IndyCar Series champion Panther Racing announced today that Ryan Briscoe will drive the team’s No. 4 National Guard Chevy for this weekend’s Chevrolet Indy Duel in Detroit. Briscoe, a seven-time IndyCar race winner, spent most of the past five seasons with Team Penske after making his IndyCar Series debut with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2005. The open-wheel veteran most recently made his return to the series with Ganassi for the 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500, where he finished 12th in the No. 8 NTT DATA entry.

“We couldn’t be happier to have Ryan Briscoe join Panther Racing this weekend,” Panther Managing Partner John Barnes said. “He’s a championship-caliber driver who’s proven he can win races on any type of track in the IndyCar Series. We have no doubt he can jump right into our program and put the No. 4 National Guard Chevy at the front of the field. In his career he’s gone toe-to-toe with the best drivers in this series and won a lot of races. We’re all very excited that he’s going to become part of our family here at Panther and look forward to getting him on the track this weekend in Detroit.”

Briscoe’s seven career IndyCar Series race wins have been spread across every type of track configuration on which the series runs; street courses (St. Petersburg, 2009), permanent road courses (Mid-Ohio, 2008; Sonoma, 2012), short ovals (Milwaukee, 2008) and superspeedways (Kentucky and Chicagoland, 2009; Texas, 2010). Briscoe also has 13 career poles, including capturing pole position in last year’s Indianapolis 500. He has spent a majority of 2013 racing for Level 5 Motorsports in ALMS, where he’s captured P2 class victories in the 12 Hours of Sebring and at Laguna Seca earlier this month.

“I’m unbelievably excited to be back in the IndyCar Series with Panther Racing and to have the opportunity to drive the National Guard Chevrolet this weekend,” Briscoe said. “I’ve competed against this team for a long time and it will be great to have the opportunity to work with John Barnes and the Panther guys. I’m confident we’ll all work well together and be able to hit the ground running this weekend in Detroit.”

The 31-year-old will become the fourth driver to drive Panther’s National Guard-sponsored entry, following Vitor Meira (2008), Dan Wheldon (2009-2010) and JR Hildebrand (2011-2013).

The Chevrolet Indy Duel in Detroit will be the first double-header race weekend on the IndyCar Series schedule. The races will be held each day of the weekend at 3:30 pm (ET) and broadcast live on ABC, 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.

2013 JR released_web_COVER
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – (May 30, 2013) – Panther Racing and JR Hildebrand announced today their mutual agreement to terminate JR’s contract with the team that was scheduled to continue through the end of the 2013 season. Hildebrand, the 2009 Indy Lights Champion, made a total of 37 starts in the No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet over the course of the last three seasons. He recorded his best career IndyCar finish of second place in the 95th Running of the Indianapolis 500, and led seven races during his tenure with the team.

“We’d like to thank JR Hildebrand for his contributions to Panther Racing, and especially the work he put into supporting the National Guard and all of our programs to support its soldiers,” Panther Managing Partner John Barnes said. “JR is a great young man, a class act, and somebody who has been a great representative of our race team and all of our partners since 2011. We certainly wish JR, his family and his representatives all the best in the future.”

“I want to thank Panther Racing for the opportunity to drive the No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet,” Hildebrand added. “It was a privilege to represent our men and women in uniform, along with the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe and the team’s veteran employment initiatives. I’m very much looking forward to the next chapter in my IndyCar career, and wish all my friends at Panther the absolute best.”

Panther plans to announce Hildebrand’s replacement for this weekend’s Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit later this afternoon.