JR Hildebrand will return to the IZOD IndyCar Series later this season, running a pair of races in his home state of California for Barracuda Racing according to the Associated Press.
Hildebrand will compete for the team in its No. 98 Honda at Sonoma Raceway on Aug. 25 and Auto Club Speedway on Oct. 19. He joins Luca Filippi in the car for the remainder of the season after the Italian impressed team officials at Mid-Ohio on Aug. 4.
Like Panther Racing, Barracuda is using the remainder of the season to audition for 2014 after Alex Tagliani agreed to step out of the car after a slow start to this season.
Hildebrand hasn't competed since the Indianapolis 500 in May when he and Panther "mutually agreed" to part ways. Hildebrand is the 2009 Indy Lights champion and 2011 Indianapolis 500 runner-up and has a considerable amount of track time at Sonoma.
"Sonoma is where I got my racing start, so it'll be great to have another new experience there with a new team, and one that I've heard nothing but great things about," Hildebrand said in a team release. "The Sonoma racetrack is not only in my backyard, but Barracuda Networks' also, so we'll be working hard to make it a good one all around. I can't wait to get started."
Filippi will compete in the other remaining races for Barracuda at Baltimore on Sept. 1 and the two races in Houston on Oct. 5-6.
Will one of these two drivers earn the ride for next season or do you expect team owner Bryan Herta to move another direction next season? Tell us in the comments section below.