JR Hildebrand to run fourth Indianapolis 500 car with A.J. Foyt Racing

By: Spencer Neff
April 8, 2021

Thursday morning, A.J. Foyt Racing announced plans for a fourth entry in this year’s 105th indianapolis 500 presented by Gainridge.

For the first time since 1987, the Foyt team will have four entries at the Indianapolis 500. In addition to the full-season entries of Dalton Kellett and Sebastien Bourdais and the May entry of Charlie Kimball, Sausalito, California’s JR Hildebrand will join the team.

Driving the No. 1 entry in tribute to the 60th anniversary of Car Owner A.J.Foyt’s first of four Indianapolis 500 wins, Hildebrand will look to make his 11th Indianapolis 500. The livery is modeled after the Bowes Seal Fast Offenhauser that Foyt took to victory.

“This livery is more than just a throwback for us,” revealed Team President Larry Foyt.

“It is special to our team and family, and its imagery is something I have grown up seeing my whole life. It is wonderful that our longtime friends and partner ABC Supply will be the primary sponsor on this tribute to one of my Dad’s great accomplishments.

A.J. Foyt after winning the 1961 Indianapolis 500. This year’s race will take place on the 60th anniversary of his first win (INDYCAR/IMS)

“Being able to sign a quality driver like J.R. will add another source of valuable feedback to our team which is especially important given the talent-packed Indy 500 entry list this year.”

In 2011, Hildebrand started 12th and was leading on the last lap before hitting the wall in Turn 4 of the Indianapolis 500. After the race, Hildebrand was named Rookie of the Year with Panther Racing.

Over 65 career starts in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, Hildebrand equaled that best finish in 2017 at Iowa. His best career start came at that Iowa race. Earlier in that year, he started a career-best sixth at the Indianapolis 500 with Ed Carpenter Racing. Last year, Hildebrand started and finished 16th with Dreyer and Reinbold Racing.

“This is definitely a drive to be excited about, and for multiple reasons,” Hildebrand noted.

“Getting the chance to drive for A.J. and Larry is something I’m looking forward to no matter what, but with ABC honoring the 60th anniversary of A.J.’s first 500 win that makes it extra special. I’ll be back in a Chevy which I’ve spent almost my entire IndyCar career driving, gain the benefit of three teammates, and get the chance to reunite, in a way, with an engineer I’ve had success with before in Justin Taylor, who’s race-engineering Seb this year. We all know that the 500 is only getting more competitive so we’ll all have to bring our best to the table, but that, to me, is what makes this race so worthwhile in the first place. I can’t wait to get rolling.”

Hildebrand’s Indy 500 Livery (A.J. Foyt Racing)

“At my age, I don’t get too excited anymore but I’m thrilled to see this car painted like my ’61 car,” said A.J. Foyt.

“That win was so special because it was my dream just to be good enough to make the race. To win it three years later well I was thrilled to death about it. They were all sweet victories but to win that first one after where I came from, it was unbelievable.

“Having ABC Supply sponsor this car is fantastic,” he continued.

“They were awful good to us as our main sponsor for 15 years and they came back for the 500 last year when things were pretty tough. Well, that just shows what type of company they are. We’ve been great friends and we’ll remain that way.”

The Foyt team was also quick to thank 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champion Scott Dixon and Chip Ganassi Racing, who allowed the team to utilize the No. 1 for the entry.

Header Image By Chris Owens/INDYCAR

Published by Spencer Neff

I am a lifelong auto racing fan. Through IndyCar1909, I look forward to sharing my passion for the series and its illustrious history with you.

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