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IndyCar: Hildebrand joins CFH Racing for Indy outings

JR Hildebrand will return to the IndyCar Series next month after being confirmed in a third CFH Racing car for both races at Indianapolis.
JR Hildebrand will be back in action in the Verizon IndyCar Series next month after nearly a year away from open wheel competition, after CFH Racing confirmed that it has signed a deal to expand to a three-car line-up for both of May's races at Indianapolis.

Preferred Freezer Services will be partnering with the team to sponsor Hildebrand, who will be racing alongside Josef Newgarden and Luca Filippi at the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 9 and with Newgarden and team co-owner Ed Carpenter at the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 24.

"JR is a driver that we want to work with and it's great to be able to team up with both JR and Preferred Freezer Services again for the Indy 500 and now the Grand Prix of Indianapolis," said Carpenter on Tuesday.

It will be Hildebrand's fifth time attempting to make the starting grid of the Indy 500, with 2014's race being the last time the 27-year-old from California appeared in the series. Driving for Ed Carpenter Racing before its off-season merger with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing to create CFH Racing for the 105 season, Hildebrand qualified in ninth position and finished the race in the top ten.

“We are definitely looking forward to having Preferred Freezer Services back on the car,” commented Hildebrand. “We had a lot of fun with them in 2014 and we be rolling the polar bear back out into the garage area this year!

"Even though we were a one-off entry last year, we were very fast and had a really easy month. Preferred Freezer Services was a big part of that, they are a great group to work with and it's going to make this year that much more exciting.

"It was really great working with Ed last year at the 500 and I did a little bit of testing in the off-season with Josef, we got along really well,” Hildebrand continued. “I expect the relationship that the three of us have to be potent and for us to have great communication.

"That's such a huge piece, particularly at the 500, where there is so much practice, qualifying is so intense and we'll have the new aero kits. You need every last ounce of speed you can get out of the cars for both qualifying and race day and we can all work together to reach that goal."

Before the Indy 500, Hildebrand will be making his race début on the new 2.434-mile, 14-turn road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“To have the Grand Prix added onto the 500 program is great,” Hildebrand said. “Having a race under our belts going into the 500 is a huge difference from a one-off scenario. It can be tough sometimes when you have guys who haven't done pit stops as a group during a race and you don't have that chemistry yet.

"It will be great for my team of guys to have a warm-up heading into the oval race and great for me to get back in a car on a road course.”

The road race will be Hildebrand's 40th in the IndyCar Series. He famously finished as runner up to Dan Wheldon in the 2011 Indianapolis 500 after washing up the track while leading and crashing into the wall in the final turn of the race while driving for Panther Racing.

Last week also saw a lawsuit filed by Panther against Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and IndyCar thrown out by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt in US District Court.

The team - which has since wound up its IndyCar operations because of lack of funding - was suing after losing $13 million worth of National Guard sponsorship to RLL at the start of the 2014 season, and further accused IndyCar of breach of contract. However, the judge ruled that Panther's assertion that it had exclusive rights to provide National Guard access to fan events at every race "defies common sense."

Political pressure in Washington DC has since led to the National Guard terminating all of its sponsorship of motorsports teams in both IndyCar and NASCAR.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Josef Newgarden navigates the Turn 8-9 Esses complex during Tuesday`s Open Test sessions at Barber Motorsports Park on March 17 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Luca Filippi navigates the Esses complex during Tuesday`s Open Test sessions at Barber Motorsports Park on March 17 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Teammates Ed Carpenter and JR Hildebrand (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Alexander Rossi - Andretti Autosport   [pic credit: Indycar Media/Joe Skibinski]
Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske) celebrates winning the 2016 IndyCar title with victory at Sonoma   [pic credit: Chris Owens]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Ed Jones celebrates winning the 2016 Indy Lights championship
Kyle Kaiser (Juncos Racing) celebrates at Laguna Seca
Kyle Kaiser - Juncos Racing
Ed Carpenter Racing crew working on the boss` car   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Indy Lights action
Indy Lights title contender Santiago Urrutia, Ed Jones, Dean Stoneman, Felix Serralles, Kyle Kaiser and Zach Veach   [pic credit: IndyCar Media]
Santiago Urrutia - Schmidt Petersen Motorsport
Will Power - Team Penske
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to victory at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to pole at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Graham Rahal celebrates victory in the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway   (image credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens)
Scott Dixon leads the Indycar field   [pic credit: Indycar media/Bret Kelley]

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