J.R. Hildebrand drove the Salesforce-sponsored car 66 to an 11th-place finish in Sunday’s 102nd Indianapolis 500 race. Indianapolis is home to Salesforce’s second largest office, and our employees cheered J.R. on at the racetrack. It was his first race with Salesforce as a sponsor.

After the finish of the race, Salesforce’s CEO Marc Benioff tweeted, “Congratulations @JRHildebrand finishing #11 in @IndyCar 500!  You are a @salesforce Trailblazer!”

 

 

Stickers with company mascots commemorating J.R’s first Indy race with Salesforce were created, and a replica of J.R.’s Indy car was placed in the lobby of the Salesforce West building in San Francisco.

Australian driver Will Power won the race, followed by Ed Carpenter and Scott Dixon. It was J.R.’s eighth Indy 500. He was 2011 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, following a dramatic runner-up finish in the 100th anniversary of the race. The San Francisco Bay Area native lectures on driverless car topics to classes at Stanford University, and is an advocate for science and technology education.

In a recent interview with the Salesforce Newsroom, J.R. said that speed attracted him to racing at a very young age. “The first time I got in a go-cart, it was just sensory overload,” he said. “And that was an experience I had never felt doing anything else. I'd raced BMX bikes, and it was always kind of in my blood a little bit, I think. But once I actually got in a go cart–you're sort of taming the beast. It's a very primal set of feelings.”

Salesforce’s Einstein Analytics team also added to the race festivities, hosting an interactive Analytics Pit Stop Experience at the racetrack that allowed attendees to glean insights using data from past Indy 500 races. For example, Einstein Analytics could illuminate driver performance based on factoring in starting position, average speed, time in pit stops, number of pit stops, laps led, and on-track passes over the years. You can try Einstein Analytics by plugging in your own data set to this Explore with Analytics trail. In addition, Einstein Analytics drove a deep-dive analysis of driver and race data leading up to today’s race.

Congratulations J.R. on a great race!



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J.R. Hildebrand’s Q&A with the Salesforce Newsroom