Hildebrand to enter Indy 500 for Ed Carpenter Racing

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J.R. Hildebrand will drive in the Indianapolis 500 as a second entry for owner-driver Ed Carpenter.

Ed Carpenter Racing announced Hildebrand as a second driver Thursday. The 2011 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year will be attempting to run in his fourth 500.

"We, at Ed Carpenter Racing, are very pleased to bring J.R. Hildebrand into our Indy 500 effort this year," said Carpenter, a 10-time Indy 500 starter. "J.R. has been the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year and an Indy Lights champion, so his credentials are very impressive. It is great to have another American driver in the 500 this year and competing with ECR. We believe a second car at Indy will assist us in preparing for a strong performance in this year's Indy 500."

Hildebrand, 26, was leading the 2011 race on the final lap before crashing in the final turn. The crash opened the door for the late Dan Wheldon to claim his second Borg-Warner Trophy. Hildebrand finished second. He also won the 2009 Indy Lights championship.

"I'm extremely excited to join Ed Carpenter Racing for this year's Indianapolis 500," said Hildebrand. "Ed's team has been very strong on the ovals the past two years including winning at Fontana and taking the pole position at last year's 500. Working with Ed and his staff at Indy gives me a lot of confidence going into the world's biggest race. I can't wait to jump into the No. 21 Chevy and get back to the Speedway."

The 98th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 25.