First Two Practice Sessions of IndyCar Series Go Smoothly for No. 4 National Guard Panther Team
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - (March 23, 2012) – The first day of practice for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season went off without a hitch for the National Guard Panther Racing team and driver JR Hildebrand, who finished 13th overall on the final combined practice chart for the day. Hildebrand, entering his second season with the team, completed a total of 44 laps at the track and posted a top speed of 103.237 mph, 1:02.7683 seconds.
“We felt really good out there today,” Hildebrand said. “One of the things I felt like was good for us this year coming into St. Pete is that we have a pretty clear idea of what we need to do with the National Guard car to go faster. The new car has been really responsive for us and being able to start fresh with a new chassis, new Chevy motor, new everything has been a nice change of pace.”
There will be another practice session Saturday morning prior to IndyCar qualifications at 1:55 pm, which consists of a three-round knockout session that concludes with the Firestone Fast Six shootout for the pole for Sunday’s 100-lap event.
“All and all we’re looking all right right now,” JR continued. “We’ve still got a little bit of lap time to find, but the other thing that’s been nice for us here is we’ve been able to repeat our quick lap time when the tires start going off.”
Practice was led by the Chevrolet-powered duo of Will Power and Ryan Briscoe, with Power leading the way with a top lap speed of 104.503 mph.
The IZOD IndyCar Series Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will be broadcast live on ABC at 12:30 p.m. (ET), with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network, XM Channel 145 ad Sirius Channel 121.
www.JRHildebrandRacing.com - www.pantherracing.com - www.NationalGuard.com