Hildebrand out, Briscoe into Panther Racing's No. 4 car

JR Hildebrand after a last-lap crash cost him the 2011 Indy 500.
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JR Hildebrand is out as the driver of Panther Racing's No. 4 car.

Panther Racing and Hildebrand announced an agreement to terminate his contract with the team Thursday afternoon. Hildebrand's contract was set to run through the end of this season.

"We'd like to thank JR Hildebrand for his contributions to Panther Racing, and especially the work he put into supporting the National Guard and all of our programs to support its soldiers," Panther Managing Partner John Barnes said in a story posted to the team's website.

"I want to thank Panther Racing for the opportunity to drive the No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet," Hildebrand added. "It was a privilege to represent our men and women in uniform, along with the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe and the team's veteran employment initiatives."

Hildebrand started 37 races in the No. 4 car over the past three seasons. His best finish was second place in the 2011 Indianapolis 500, when he crashed in Turn 4 of the final lap, giving the late Dan Wheldon the victory.

Panther announced Thursday afternoon Ryan Briscoe will drive the No. 4 car this weekend in Detroit.

"I've competed against this team for a long time and it will be great to have the opportunity to work with John Barnes and the Panther guys. I'm confident we'll all work well together and be able to hit the ground running this weekend in Detroit," Briscoe said on Panther's website.

Briscoe finished 12th in Sunday's Indianapolis 500.