INDYCAR: Preferred Freezer Services Returns to ECR; Hildebrand to Drive Third Car for Indy 500

RaceChaser Staff Featured, Midwest, Sprints & Midgets, Verizon IndyCar Series 0 Comments

SPEEDWAY, Ind. – official team release — Mark Reed/IndyCar photo —

J.R. Hildebrand will join Ed Carpenter Racing in chasing an Indianapolis 500 victory for the third straight year in 2016, as the American driver partners with ECR and Preferred Freezer Services for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29.

Hildebrand will join teammate Josef Newgarden in carrying the blue and white Preferred Freezer Services colors at the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis 500. With team owner Ed Carpenter also alongside Hildebrand and Newgarden on the Indianapolis 500 entry list, the team will field a total of three cars for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

Additionally, Preferred Freezer Services will be the primary partner on Newgarden’s No. 21 at the Grand Prix of Boston and the Honda Indy Toronto. Preferred Freezer Services will also be an associate on the No. 21 car for all of the remaining events, while Carpenter will carry the Preferred Freezer Services polar bear on his firesuit during the entire Verizon IndyCar Series season.

“I’m really glad we were able to put everything together at ECR to continue our program with Preferred Freezer,” said Hildebrand. “Especially going into this year’s 100th running of the 500, you know everyone is bringing their absolute best to the fight. After the experience I’ve had over the last two years with this team, I know that we’re going to be bringing a race-winning effort ourselves. I’m looking forward to working with Ed and Josef again and putting the PFS entries up front throughout May.”

Hildebrand, 28, will attempt to make his sixth Indianapolis 500 start and his second in the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis. He was named the 2011 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year after finishing second to Dan Wheldon and won the 2009 Indy Lights Championship. In his five previous Indianapolis 500 appearances, Hildebrand has three top-10 starts and three top-10 finishes. He finished eighth in last year’s 500-mile race, the best finish of the three ECR drivers.

Preferred Freezer Services first joined ECR in 2014, backing the entry of Hildebrand in the Indianapolis 500. They increased their relationship with the team in 2015, supporting Hildebrand in both May races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Preferred Freezer Service will now have a presence at all IndyCar races in 2016.

Entering his 14th year of Indy car competition as a driver, Carpenter has spent five of those years at the helm of Ed Carpenter Racing. The 35-year-old has led ECR to six race wins since it’s inception, including five in the past two years. He also won back-to-back pole positions himself at the Indianapolis 500 in 2013 and 2014.

“It is great to have Preferred Freezer back for another Month of May and to carry them on the cars all year long,” Carpenter stated. “It is always ‘cool’ to have the giant polar bear around. This is a partnership that has grown each year and we are proud to see it grow again this year. We all have high hopes for all of our team cars at Indianapolis and I can’t wait to get started.”

Newgarden, 25, is coming off a wildly successful season in 2015. Last year alone he captured two race wins, his first career pole position, two additional podium finishes and led the most laps of all drivers.

“I’m thrilled to have Preferred Freezer Services on the car, they are such a great partner of ECR and very supportive of our efforts. It’s going to be a fun Month of May trying to get them a couple of wins at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” said Newgarden. “I’m even more excited to have J.R. back on the team, he’s a phenomenal teammate and fantastic driver. I’m excited to work with him and Ed as ‘Team America’ again.”

CREDIT: Ed Carpenter Racing

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