Panther Pack Team Q&A


Have a question about the difference between the IndyCar and the Pro Series ride? Curious about what the Panther drivers do away from the track? We select some of the questions that have been submitted and share the answers to those questions on the site. If you have a question of your own, you can submit your QUESTIONS here.

Displaying questions 31-40 (of 667 total):

Q. Big Fan oF JR's Sunglasses, what brand are they!?
A. (6-30-2011) JR wears Spy sunglasses ( and he was nice enough to get everybody on the team a pair early in the year. He also gave everybody at Panther a watch a few weeks ago from another company he has a good relationship with, Nixon watches, which are really cool. Take a look:

Q. Wasn't JR Hildebrand's great-grandfather a German balloon maker?
A. (6-30-2011) No, he actually wasn't, but he always dreamed that his grandson would appear in Reuters, Sports Illustrated and ESPN the Magazine very frequently. Haha. I hope all is well Lewis and look forward to seeing you at the track soon.

Q. JR seems to do a lot of swimming - if there were other drivers doing it would he pose for a Indycar driver swimsuit calendar?
A. (6-21-2011) JR was actually in the office when this question came in. After a good laugh, I believe his answer was something along the lines of, "Absolutely not." .... That's Scheckter territory.

Q. What do you think the chances are that the series will continue in Milwaukee? It would be a huge loss if it didn't.
A. (6-21-2011) We don't have any particular insight into that, but I know the consensus amongst drivers and teams is that we'd like to keep going back to The Mile for a long time. Obviously IndyCar has to weigh a lot of factors, but I think if we return we can continue to build the event up to what it could - and should - be.

Q. Would you like to see Pocono on the IICS schedule in the future? The Turn 4's have been tough on Panther this year. As we all know Pocono is a 3 turn oval.
A. (6-21-2011) Funny you mention it, JR and his engineer David Cripps were talking about Pocono just last weekend. I think Cripps had been there a few times with IndyCar if I recall correctly. And JR was all about racing there, for sure. And it's a helluva lot of fun on iRacing in the IndyCar.

Q. Seemed like early in the season and in the 500 there was a budding bro-mance with John Barnes and JR. With a couple wrecked cars now, how are things? Really glad JR is in a ride.
A. (6-21-2011) While JB will probably never admit it to JR, the bro-mance is still very much alive. The incident at Milwaukee was more a product of a broken weight jacker and an ill-handing racecar than it was driver error. As I said in an earlier response, I didn't hear what Scott Goodyear said during the ABC broadcast, but it's probably safe to assume he doesn't know what he's talking about.

Q. How close are you to getting Buddy Rice back in a car, this season?
A. (6-21-2011) I would say it is close, the question - hopefully - is not 'if' but 'how many races?'

Q. With the new chassis and engine package coming next year will you be hiring any R&D Engineers?
A. (6-21-2011) We have an R&D Engineer in house, but I'm sure we'll evaluate the transition to the 2012 chassis once we get a little closer. It is possible that we could hire additional people to help accelerate the acclimation process with the new car, but that's a decision that has not been made.

Q. During Sunday's broadcast, Scott Goodyear alluded to the fact that John Barnes might be getting tired of JR Hildebrand's on-track performance. What is the team's response to these accusations?
A. (6-21-2011) I haven't heard Goodyear's comments, but if he insinuated that JB is frustrated with Hildebrand then he couldn't be any further off-base. Did you see JB's interview after the Indy 500? Hildebrand has the full support of his team owner and the rest of the team. Not sure where Scott is getting his information, but perhaps he's still bitter about John's decision to replace him with Sam Hornish Jr. in 2000.

Q. Do you regret going with JR over Ed Carpenter for the National Guard car this year?
A. (6-21-2011) No. We were actually working on a program with Ed to continue at Panther as a teammate with Hildebrand, but ultimately the opportunity with Sarah Fisher's team came along and that was obviously an opportunity that Ed couldn't pass on and they've been very strong this year. That's a good team and Ed's a damn good driver.