JR Hildebrand watches the race from the pit area during the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Sunday, May 26, 2013. Hildebrand crashed early in the race. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)The Associated Press
James Hinchcliffe, of Canada, bottom, goes under as JR Hildebrand hits the wall in the first turn during the Indianapolis 500 auto race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis Sunday May 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Bill Friel)The Associated Press
IndyCar driver JR Hildebrand waits in the pit area before the start of the final practice session for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Friday, May 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)The Associated Press
INDIANAPOLIS – Panther Racing parted ways with JR Hildebrand on Thursday after his third major mistake since joining the team in 2011.
The team called it a "mutual agreement" to terminate Hildrebrand's contract, which ran through the 2013 season. Hildebrand, the 2009 Indy Lights champion, made 37 starts in the No. 4 Chevrolet.
Hildebrand nearly won the Indianapolis 500 in 2011, but crashed in the final turn and wound up second behind Dan Wheldon.
In this year's opener, he wrecked Will Power under caution at St. Petersburg and said he was distracted as he talked with his team and adjusted equipment in the car. In Sunday's Indy 500, he lost control in Turn 1 and slid into the outside wall — the first wreck of the race.
Panther is a partner with Dreyer & Reinbold, which folded after the 500. Its driver, Oriol Servia, finished 11th in Sunday's race and could be a candidate to replace Hildebrand in the No. 4.