By Aaron Bearden, Contributing Writer
JR Hildebrand will be back in the Verizon IndyCar Series paddock for the Month of May.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing announced Thursday that Hildebrand, 30, will pilot the team’s second entry in the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500. The Californian will pilot the No. 66 entry in the event, returning to the organization where he made his IndyCar debut in 2010.
The effort will be sponsored by Salesforce, a cloud-based platform for customer relationship management.
Thursday’s announcement marks the first time in seven years that DRR has elected to field more than one entry in the Indy 500. It also marks a return to roots for Hildebrand, who made his first two starts for DRR before moving to Panther Racing in 2011.
Hildebrand has 62-career IndyCar starts, with three podiums and an infamous near-miss with Indy 500 glory in 2011, when the then-rookie lost the lead in the final straightaway after hitting the outside wall at the exit of Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s fourth turn. He was last seen competing for Ed Carpenter Racing in 2017, where he finished 15th in the standings.
Hildebrand will join 2013 Indy Lights champion Sage Karam to complete DRR’s Indy 500 lineup. Karam has made three Indianapolis starts for the organization, earning a best result of ninth in 2014.
The Indy 500 is slated for Sunday, May 27.
Really am pumped to do it this year with DRR. Got my first call-up to the big leagues from Dennis, got a bunch of great guys that I’ve worked with before, and their whip’s been pretty damn fast with SK behind the wheel last few years. Ready to get after it! #IndyCar
— JR Hildebrand (@JRHildebrand) April 12, 2018