JR Hildebrand has finalised a deal to become Dreyer and Reinbold Racing’s second entry for the 2018 Indianapolis 500. 

Hildebrand, who lost his full-time Ed Carpenter Racing seat to Spencer Pigot following the 2017 IndyCar campaign, will drive the #66 DRR-Chevrolet sponsored by Salesforce as he attempts to qualify for what would be his eighth Indy 500 outing. 

The 2009 Indy Lights champion returns to the team he began his IndyCar career with in 2010, joining Sage Karam at DRR for the 102nd running of the Indy 500 on May 27. 

“I’m just really excited to be back,” Hildebrand said. “My first call up to the big leagues was from Dennis [Reinbold], and we’ve been in the same Chevy camp the last several years out at Indy.

“When I started working on getting this year figured out, it was an obvious phone call to make from my side. I’m excited that we were able to get it all put together.”

Hildebrand - who finished as runner-up at the 2011 Indy 500 - is the 34th confirmed entry for this year’s running of the prestigious race, meaning bumping will return for the first time in several years as he battles up to 35 other drivers for one of 33 places on the grid.  

“We’ve had 37 cars start the Indy 500 over the past close to 20 years now,” DRR co-owner Dennis Reinbold added. “We’re looking forward to adding to that number and really going out there and trying to do whatever we can to win the race.

“There’s a lot of work in expanding from one car to two cars. You’re talking about additional pit equipment, additional wheel guns, radios – all kinds of things that you wouldn’t necessarily think of right off the top of your head. There’s a lot to it, and we’ve been working pretty much all offseason on acquiring equipment and putting things together.”

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