Yesterday JR Hildebrand joined our Levsters, partners at Salesforce, and current customers for an exclusive fireside chat and a tour of the garage as Indianapolis gears up for race day this Sunday!
Growing up in Northern California, JR was initially dedicated to baseball and engineering. Although he was exposed to racing through his father’s interest and vintage car, unlike many drivers, JR did not grow up in a family with racing in his blood. At the age of 14—which JR claims is late to the game for professional race car drivers—he began competing in go-kart races at a world-class track near his home. As high school approached, he was still committed to his educational path as a National Merit Scholar and varsity baseball star. After being accepted to MIT, he planned to take a year off between high school and starting at MIT but that one year turned into four which allowed him to climb the motorsports levels fairly quickly. Today, with almost ten Indy 500s under his belt, you could say the rest is history.
Preparing for Race Day
As an engineer at heart, JR enjoys working with his team to tweak the car and analyze the data to identify different tactics for gaining speed and agility on the track. With the complexity of the sport, at the end of the day, JR says it’s all about shaving time off your previous race and he does this through dedication, hard work on and off the track, and owning his craft.
A Fellow Indy Fan
As an Indy-based company, we couldn’t help but find out what JR loves most about our city. He revealed that he lived in Indianapolis for seven years as it is such an integral and centralized city of racing it was the place to jump-start his career. JR admits that the connections and friendships he has in Indianapolis, the tech scene, the parade, and excitement that racing brings to May in Indianapolis are what make coming back to our city just so special. JR stated, “The energy that we get from the local community in the month of May is second to none across the globe.” We couldn’t agree more.
Check out JR’s Twitter (@JRHildebrand) to see images of his 2020 helmet and the message he is sharing with his audience on race day. “RIGHTS. JUSTICE. OPPORTUNITY.”
A huge thank you to JR for the garage tour, sharing his racing background, academic pursuits, predictions for Sunday’s race, and helping us get into the racing spirit virtually this August! Lev is extremely excited to be sponsoring such an accomplished racer and technology advocate alongside Salesforce.
We hope you tune into the race on Sunday to cheer JR on with us. Go 67!