NASCAR

Panther Racing keeping Hildebrand for 2 more years

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP)

Indianapolis 500 runner-up JR Hildebrand will be driving for Panther Racing the next two seasons.

The team said Wednesday it has exercised an option that will keep Hildebrand in the No. 4 National Guard car for 2012 and 2013.

Hildebrand was this year's IndyCar rookie of the year and led the Indy 500 until crashing on the last turn of the last lap. His car skidded down the front straightaway, crossing the finish line second behind the late Dan Wheldon.

It was a strange season for Hildebrand, who tore the ACL in his left knee in June, broke a bone in his hand in September and sustained a concussion and bruised sternum in the Las Vegas crash that killed Wheldon.

Hildebrand still led three races and had five top-10 finishes.

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