Panther Racing confirmed Wednesday that IndyCar Rookie of the Year leader JR Hildebrand will have Buddy Rice, his Indianapolis 500 teammate, back in the saddle for the last two races of the year.
As in Indianapolis, Rice will drive the No. 44 Fuzzy's Vodka Panther Racing Dallara-Honda at Kentucky and Las Vegas.
“Everybody at Panther is extremely excited to have Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka and a champion like Buddy Rice back with us for the last two races of the season,” said John Barnes, Panther Managing Partner and CEO. “Those guys bring so much to this team and we owe Buddy and Fuzzy's Vodka a ton of credit for the success we had this year at Indianapolis, and we feel we've put together a race-winning package for both Kentucky and Las Vegas. Buddy worked so well with JR (Hildebrand) in May and I'm glad they'll get the opportunity to work together again because I can't ever remember a pair of teammates working together as well as those two did at Indianapolis.”
The move mirrors a similar situation in 2010 when Panther added a second car with Fuzzy's sponsorship for Ed Carpenter, in partnership with Vision Racing. Carpenter qualified on the pole and finished second at Kentucky in that car.