Saavedra Ties His Best Oval Finish of the Season

Submitted by on Monday, 07 July 2014 15:55

Saavedra Ties His Best Oval Finish of the Season]

By Kevin Diamond

 

LAKE POND, PA - July 6, 2014 - KV AFS Racing's Sebastian Saavedra tied his best oval finish of the season today in the Pocono INDYCAR 500 fueled by Sunoco at Pocono Raceway in Lake Pond, PA.

 

After spending the first practice session yesterday running laps to mileage out his No. 17 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc. - KV AFS Racing Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone car, Saavedra only had the second one-hour session to work on his race and qualifying setup. He qualified 19th on the 2.5-mile tri-oval and started on the inside of row 7.

 

The race started stressfully when Saavedra called over the radio as he left pit lane thinking he had the same mechanical problem as last weekend in Houston. He returned to the pits before the green flag was shown, turned the engine off and the crew assessed the situation. The crew fixed the problem and got Saavedra back out before the start of the race and he rejoined on the lead lap, but at the back of the field. Saavedra immediately started to make an impact and by his first stop on lap 30 was lying 15th. He maintained this position until his second stop and then over the course of the next few stints held 17th or 18th position. The race finally had its first caution after a record 158 laps and Saavedra stayed out while others pitted. He restarted 13th and passed his teammate Sebastien Bourdais for 12th before pitting 12 laps later. Saavedra rejoined 16th and with one lap to go moved up to 15th, where he remained at the checkered flag, equaling his best oval finish of the season (he also finished 15th at the Indianapolis 500).

 

Commenting on the 500-mile race today, Saavedra said "It was a really long day out there and a pretty scary start when we thought we had the same mechanical issue as last weekend. I brought the Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc. - KV AFS Racing car back into the pits, recycled everything and managed to get back out before the green flag and without losing a lap, which was a great job by the whole crew. From then on we just battled....everyone is extremely strong, it's not like there are big differences between the cars anymore, but by starting the race so far back hampered us big time. We had a strong car, and managed to get some good points for the championship but still have a long way to go."

 

The middle round of the Triple Crown series (the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Auto Club Speedway on Aug. 30 are the other 500-mile races) carries double points, therefore Saavedra picked up 30 points and now sits 20th in the championship standings with 196 points

 

The 24-year-old Colombian, who is still relatively new to oval racing having spent his early career on road/street courses, made his 19th oval start in 49 Verizon IndyCar starts. In the two starts Saavedra as had on the "Tricky Triangle" as its often known, his best finish came this weekend (last year he finished 23rd) and his best start was last year, 18th.

 

Next up is the Iowa Corn Indy 300 at Iowa Speedway in Newton Iowa, July 11-12, which will be broadcast live on NBCSports at 8:00 p.m. (ET) and IMS IndyCar Radio can be heard on Sirius 213 and XM 209, check local listings for your local station, or listen at IndyCar.com or on the Verizon Indy2014 app.

 

 

 

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