JR Hildebrand's Indy 500 entry ensures return of bumping

INDIANAPOLIS -- JR Hildebrand will enter this year's Indianapolis 500 with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, which means bumping will return to the event for the first time since 2015.

Hildebrand is the 34th announced entry for a race that fields just 33 cars, so qualifying will cost someone a slot in IndyCar's marquee race on Memorial Day weekend.

Hildebrand will drive a second entry for DRR and be teammates with Sage Karam. Hildebrand has raced in seven previous Indy 500s and is considered a speedway specialist. He came within one turn of winning the 2011 race as a rookie but hit the wall and Dan Wheldon drove past Hildebrand for the victory. Hildebrand skidded across the finish line for a heartbreaking second-place finish.

Hildebrand has 62 career starts in IndyCar. He will drive the No. 66 Chevrolet; Salesforce is the primary sponsor. It's the first time the DRR team has had a second entry in the Indy 500 since 2011.

Dreyer & Reinbold plans on using this year's 500 as a starting point to build a full-time return to IndyCar Series next season.