J.R. Hildebrand will fill Dreyer & Reinbold’s second seat at next month’s Indy 500, where he will carry the No.48 in tribute to Dan Gurney.
It will be Hildebrand’s second appearance at Indy with DRR and ninth overall. In his first outing at the Speedway with the team last year, he qualified 27th and raced up to 11th.
“Last year, we had a great relationship with Dennis Reinbold’s DRR team in our initial Indy 500 effort,” said Hildebrand. “I started my IndyCar career with Dennis back in 2010 when he brought me up to the big leagues in IndyCar racing. We have always had a great rapport over the years. I have always been impressed with the speed in the race of the DRR team.
“I’m thrilled to have Salesforce back on our race car, and also honoring the great Dan Gurney with the No. 48 this year. Dan was one of my racing heroes, by saluting him in this year’s Indy 500 and campaigning his famed No. 48. Dan’s No. 48 won the 1975 Indy 500 with Bobby Unser driving. Now, we’ll celebrate Dan’s great racing achievements with the No. 48 car.”
Reinbold said that he is looking forward to building on the foundations laid last year, when the addition of Hildebrand alongside Sage Karam – who is also returning in May – marked DRR’s first multi-car Indy 500 program in seven years.
“I’m very pleased to bring back J.R. to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway again this year,” said Reinbold. “Last year, we expanded to two cars with J.R. and Sage and the combination worked very well. J.R.’s experience at Indy brings our team a lot of background to develop the cars quickly in practice and prepare for qualifying. With J.R. and Sage, we have two very talented young drivers who can compete for the win on May 26.
“Plus, running the No. 48 in honor of Dan Gurney is exciting for me and our team. Dan was one of my heroes as a kid and it will be great to have the No. 48 back at IMS.”
The Gurney legacy, with many Eagle cars competing at the Indy 500, is well-known at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with race wins and record qualifying performances.
“We are very much looking forward to another exciting Indy 500 in 2019,” said Alex Gurney, Dan Gurney’s son. “The number 48 is special to our family as my dad took that number to second place in both ’68 and ’69 as well as a win for AAR as a team and manufacturer in 1975. This is a great tribute to my dad. JR Hildebrand is a special person as well as a fantastic driver and he seems always to be in contention for the win at Indy. I hope he can put the 48 up front in the big race.”