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J.R. Hildebrand not alone in Indy misery

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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-01-11 07:42 AM
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J.R. Hildebrand not alone in Indy misery
INDIANAPOLIS -- J.R. Hildebrand was less than half a mile from duplicating Trevor Bayne's feat of a remarkable rookie win in one of America's iconic auto races.

Problem is, unlike Bayne's triumphant run to the flag in the Daytona 500, Hildebrand didn't finish the Indianapolis 500. The Sausalito, Calif., native crashed his Panther Racing/National Guard car in the last turn of the last lap, a $2.5 million mistake that instantly moved him into pole position for a century's worth of heartbreak at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"That's the first time I've seen the leader crash on the last corner and have somebody pass him on the way to the finish line," recalled Roger Penske, who has attended the Indianapolis 500 since 1951. "But that's what this place is all about."

The lead of the Indy 500 has changed hands in the last five laps on several occasions. But as Penske noted, never has the leader crashed on the very last lap.

To his credit, Hildebrand kept his composure when he met the media in pit lane a few minutes after his mangled Dallara-Honda somehow crossed the finish line in second place.
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