Hildebrand tears ACL of left knee in PR stunt at Texas Motor Speedway

UPDATE JR Hildebrand, who crashed while leading on the last lap of the Indianapolis 500 two weeks ago, suffered a torn ACL in his left knee Wednesday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway, sources confirmed Thursday. The only statement by Panther Racing officials is that Hildebrand suffered a knee injury, but they did not want to comment further.

Hildebrand still will compete in the Twin 275 IndyCar Series races Saturday night at TMS.

Hildebrand was taking part in a TMS promotion at the track Wednesday, called "Driven To Fitness," a boot-camp style obstacle course to prove race car drivers are athletes. Drivers Ryan Briscoe and Will Power also participated in the promotion. Track star and four-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson was the instructor for the drivers.

The final test was a hurdles race, but Hildebrand's knee hit the wood on the final hurdle. TMS officials took Hildebrand to the infield care center, where he learned of the ACL tear.

Hildebrand, a 23-year-old IndyCar rookie from Sausalito, Calif., was in position to win the Indy 500 last month before slamming into the Turn 4 wall heading to the checkered flag. Dan Wheldon passed him for the victory. ESPN.com

06/09/11 Indy 500 runner-up JR Hildebrand injured his knee during a publicity stunt at Texas Motor Speedway.

The 23-year-old Hildebrand was competing against Indy Car driver Ryan Briscoe in a friendly obstacle course race to show that IndyCar Series drivers are fit athletes.

Hildebrand scaled a wall, shuffled through the tires and had one more hurdle left before the finish line when he slipped on his landing. He told the boot camp instructor that he slipped on the grass and landed awkwardly and may have hyper extended his left knee. Texas Motor Speedway employees got Hildebrand some ice and the instructor had him sit on the grass for a while as they looked at his injury. Hildebrand then limped over to a waiting golf cart that took him away. Photos

This is Hildebrand’s second accident in about a week. Of course, his big accident happened at the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500. Hildebrand led the 500 three different times then hit the wall within a few hundred yards from winning the race before finishing second. Now the National Guard Panther Racing rookie will have a sore knee to worry about along with trying to cross the finish line in Texas.

Hildebrand is expected to race this Saturday night at TMS in the Firestone Twin 275s. KDAF-TV.com

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