Panther’s National Guard IndyCar Gets Superman Makeover for Indy 500
National Guard Recruiting Campaign Designed Around Warner Brothers ‘Man of Steel’ Movie Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - (May 11, 2013) – Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No … it’s Panther Racing’s No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet IndyCar.

Panther Racing and driver JR Hildebrand will undergo a makeover for this month’s 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, where the team’s No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet will showcase a “Soldier of Steel” livery. The new color scheme highlights the National Guard’s “Soldier of Steel” recruiting campaign designed around the launch of Warner Brothers’ upcoming blockbuster Superman movie release Man of Steel. Hildebrand will join teammate Townsend Bell as both drivers attempt to qualify for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, a race where Panther has finished runner-up in four of the last five years.

“Representing the National Guard is a huge honor for all of us at Panther, and being able to come to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the ‘Soldier of Steel’ paint scheme is another great way for us to do that,” Hildebrand said. “There’s a pretty seamless connection between these Soldiers and Superman; they’re both just ordinary citizens serving their community. So for us being able to compete in an iconic event like the Indianapolis 500 in Superman colors is just another way to highlight all the unbelievable things the National Guard does for this country. For us, the Soldiers have always been the real superheroes.”

The National Guard’s “Soldier of Steel” recruitment program and advertising campaign will take place during the next month as a lead up to the release of Warner Brothers’ Man of Steel movie. The campaign will include in-theater advertising, promotional events, displays, online, mobile, social media, print publications and more. The “Man of Steel” movie, which stars Henry Cavill as Superman, Kevin Costner, Amy Adams, and Russell Crowe will hit theaters on June 14th.

Panther’s traditional black, red and ACU camouflage livery will change to blue and red, and includes the texture featured on Superman’s suit in Man of Steel. The likeness of Cavill, in Superman costume, is featured prominently on the sidepod of the No. 4 car and the Superman “S” glyph will be on the nose of Panther’s IndyCar.

Hildebrand will attempt to qualify for his third Indy 500 on Pole Day next Saturday, as Panther Racing, the two-time IndyCar Series champions, looks for its first victory in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Panther finished second place in an unprecedented four-straight Indy 500s with three different drivers; Vitor Meira (2008), Dan Wheldon (2009-2010) and Hildebrand (2011). The team announced earlier in the week that it was running Townsend Bell in the No. 60 entry, and both Hildebrand and Bell will work close with technical partner Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and No. 22 driver Oriol Servia leading up to the race. Hildebrand is competing in his third season in Panther’s National Guard entry, and the 25-year-old Californian has led seven races in his short career and captured a total of five Top Five and 12 Top Ten finishes.

Practice for the Indianapolis 500 begins on Saturday, May 11th with Pole Day qualifications schedule for Saturday, May 18th. The 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race will be held on Sunday, May 26th and broadcast live on ABC starting at 12 pm (ET) with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network, XM/Sirius Channel 211. Practice, qualifying and race coverage is also available on the IndyCar Mobile app from Verizon.

About the National Guard:
The National Guard is America’s oldest armed force—dating back to 1636—and the only branch that serves both the federal and state governments. The Guard answers to both the president of the United States and the governors of their respective states and territories. The National Guard can be mobilized any time natural disasters or other emergencies occur within America’s borders, and also serve alongside U.S. combat forces in other parts of the world. The Guard's roots go back to North America’s earliest colonial militias: farmers, shopkeepers and everyday citizens willing to put their lives on hold and pick up their weapons to defend their communities and their country. Today, Citizen-Soldiers live, work and go to school in cities and towns all across America and its territories. And just as they have for over 370 years, the men and women of the National Guard are trained, willing and proud to assist their neighbors during emergencies, and to protect their nation whenever they are called.

About Panther Racing:
Panther Racing is a championship-winning motorsports team in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Formed late in 1997, the team earned its first victory at Phoenix International Raceway with Scott Goodyear in 1999 and won back-to-back IndyCar Series Championships with Sam Hornish Jr. in 2001 and 2002. Panther has also participated in the Firestone Indy Lights developmental series, collecting a total of 13 victories and a championship crown in 2003. In its history, Panther has collected a total of 28 race victories and three championships during 14 years of competition. Panther has won the closest 1-2 finish (Chicagoland, 2002) and closest 1-2-3 finish (Chicagoland, 2003) in league history and has been victorious in Indy Lights races on both the historic oval and road course of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, Panther is owned by managing partner John Barnes as well as San Francisco 49ers head football coach Jim Harbaugh, Mike Griffin, Courtney Jones and Joe Cain.