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In what was one of the Indianapolis 500’s most dramatic finishes ever, J.R. Hildebrand lost victory by hitting the wall at the final corner on Sunday. Having started the 12th, the highest-placed rookie was fighting a battle against low fuel loads as Dan Wheldon eventually stole his second victory at the speedway.
“I knew we were really tight on fuel coming to the end and the spotters were in my ear saying, ‘The guys are coming and they’re coming hard’,” explained Panther Racing’s Hildebrand, who was able to limp across the finish line in second place on three wheels. “We had to conserve a little fuel and the tyres were coming to the end of their stint. I was hanging a little on to get the thing around.
“I made a judgment call catching up on the 83 and I thought, ‘I don’t really want to slow down behind him and pull out on the straightaway and I’ve been able to make this move on the outside before,’ and so I went to the high side and, because it was at the end of the stint, I got up in the marbles and that was it.
“I'm okay, but this is not really about me at this point. You always show up to try to win. My disappointment is for the team and for National Guard as a sponsor. It's one of the those things, as a driver, you never really know what you're going to expect.
“We knew we had a fast race car. We knew, if the race came to us, we may be in a position to sort of finish top three, top five."
- The dramatic finish can be viewed at GPUpdate TV
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|1.||D. Wheldon||Herta Autosport||2:56:11.726|
|3.||G. Rahal||Chip Ganassi||+5.594|
|4.||T. Kanaan||Lotus KV Racing||+7.487|
|5.||S. Dixon||Chip Ganassi||+8.875|
|7.||B. Baguette||Rahal Letterman||+23.963|
|8.||T. Scheckter||Lotus KV Racing||+24.329|
|18 Jan||IndyCar and Dallara reach deal over costs|
|17 Nov '11||Panther re-signs Hildebrand for next two seasons|
|18 Oct '11||Mann and Hildebrand dispatched from hospital|
|17 Oct '11||Power out of hospital, Mann and Hildebrand remain|
|IndyCar Series: Indianapolis Motor Speedway|
|1 Jun '11||Indy 500 TV ratings increase by 7%|
|30 May '11||Immense disappointment as Hildebrand loses victory|
|30 May '11||Video: Relive dramatic finish of Indianapolis 500|
|29 May '11||Latest IndyCar photos: The 95th Indy 500|
|24 May '12||Video of the Day: Dramatic finish to Indy 500|
|15 Dec '10||Hildebrand signs multi-year deal with Panther|
|9 Jul '10||Hildebrand to make debut with Dreyer & Reinbold|
|17 Feb '10||Hlidebrand enjoys Sebring test with Dale Coyne|
|14 Jun||Beatriz gets Coyne seat for Milwaukee|
|10 Jun||Video: Texas Speedway IndyCar highlights|
|9 Jun||Latest IndyCar photos: Saturday in Texas|
|9 Jun||Castroneves takes lead with Texas win|
|More J.R. Hildebrand photos|