JR Hildebrand will reunite with old friends and double his fun next month when he drives in the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race for CFH Racing.
Hildebrand was announced today as driver of the No. 6 Preferred Freezer Services CFH Racing Chevrolet Dallara, the team’s third entry for the two Verizon IndyCar Series events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He will drive alongside teammates Josef Newgarden and Luca Filippi for the May 9 Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the IMS road course and join Newgarden and Ed Carpenter in the CFH stable for the Indy 500, set for May 24 on the famed 2.5-mile oval.
Hildebrand, 27, teamed with Carpenter in last year’s Indy 500 for Ed Carpenter Racing, which merged in the offseason with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing to form CFH Racing. Carpenter won the Indy 500 pole, while Hildebrand qualified ninth and finished 10th. It also marks the second straight year Hildebrand will ride with sponsorship from Preferred Freezer Services, the New Jersey-based operator of temperature-controlled, cold-storage warehouses around the globe.
“It was really great working with Ed last year at the 500 and I did a little bit of testing in the offseason with Josef; we got along really well,” said Hildebrand, aiming for his fifth Indy 500 start with a best previous finish of second in 2011. “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.”
Hildebrand, who will make his first start on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn IMS road course for the grand prix, emphasized its importance to the team’s chances of success throughout the month.
“To have the grand prix added onto the 500 program is great,” he 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 warmup heading into the oval race and great for me to get back in a car on a road course.”