National Guard Team Has One More Tune-Up at Barber Motorsports Park Before Season Starts
SEBRING, Fla. - (March 9, 2012) – National Guard Panther Racing driver JR Hildebrand finished sixth overall amongst the 27 IZOD IndyCar Series drivers who tested at Sebring International Raceway this week. The test, which was split into four days over the course of the week, will be Panther’s second-to-last tune-up of the offseason before the season kicks-off in two weeks on the Streets of St. Petersburg. The team will test its No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet next Tuesday and Wednesday at Barber Motorsports Park.
“We felt good all day today and made it through a lot of stuff the last two days,” Hildebrand explained. “We did back-to-back new tire runs this morning and the quick time we ran – for the time of the day it was – and on used tires wasn’t too bad.”
Hildebrand turned a combined total of 185 laps on the 1.67-mile course during the two days. He posted a top lap speed Friday morning of 115.157 mph, 52.2068 seconds and was sandwiched in the sixth-overall position in-between Penske Racing teammates Will Power (fifth, 52.2059 seconds) and Ryan Briscoe (seventh, 52.2072 seconds). Chevrolet-powered drivers secured five of the top seven spots in the field.
“The other positive was we got really clean reads on everything we did,” JR continued. “It feels good and it’s just a matter of, for us in particular being a one-car team, being smart about making sure that we actually get a good read on whatever change we’re trying to make, rather than just blow through a bunch of stuff. We’re just trying to take it slow and take it smart, but the National Guard Chevrolet boys are feeling really good about everything now.”
Panther will visit Barber Motorsports Park for two more test days next Tuesday and Wednesday in the DW12 before the season kicks off in St. Petersburg on March 25th.
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