IZOD IndyCar Series Driver
A National Merit Scholar and member of his high school’s varsity baseball team, J.R. Hildebrand was 14 before gaining his first taste of a go-kart at the Jim Russell School in Sonoma. Within a couple of years, Hildebrand had graduated to the school’s car racing series, which he won handily, then on to F2000. He won a prestigious Team USA Scholarship in 2005, dominated the USF2000 championship in ‘06, winning 12 of the 14 races, and continued his progression by winning the 2009 Firestone Indy Lights Championship. After making two IZOD IndyCar Series starts with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in 2010, he signed with Panther Racing to drive the National Guard car and, agonizingly, finished second in the 2011 Indy 500 – earning Rookie of the Year honors – after crashing out of the lead in the final corner.