Two new venues, doubleheaders and Triple Crown among highlights

INDIANAPOLIS (Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012) – Nineteen races over 16 event weekends highlight the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series schedule announced today.

The expanded schedule includes the return of Indy car racing to Pocono Raceway and the streets of Houston.

With a 400-mile race at Pocono Raceway joining the 500-mile events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Auto Club Speedway on the schedule, the IZOD IndyCar Series will institute a Triple Crown award, which will pay a $1 million bonus to a driver that wins on all three ovals.  A driver that wins two of the three races will be awarded a $250,000 bonus.   

Also new for 2013 are Saturday-Sunday doubleheaders scheduled for the street courses at Detroit’s Belle Isle Park, Toronto and Houston and the implementation of standing starts at those three venues.

Saavedra had qualified on the pole for the Auto Club Speedway Foundation 100, but finished 14th due to a mechanical failure with the gearbox. He was the only driver to compete in both the Indy Lights and IndyCar series races today.

 "This was a very disappointing way of ending the season," said Saavedra. "I know how much effort my AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport team has put into it. We have been working very hard in both Firestone Indy Lights and IndyCar, but that is racing I guess. It is unfortunate, but we have to keep our heads up."  

Baltimore Highlights FIL 2012

Saavedra qualified on the pole for today's Auto Club Speedway Foundation 100, but finished 14th due to a mechanical failure with the gearbox. He will now race in tonight's MAVTV500 in the No. 17 AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport machine.

Sebastian Saavedra, Team AFS Racing / Andretti Autosport, No. 27

Saavedra is the Sunoco Pole Award winner for tomorrow's Auto Club Speedway Foundation 100. He will also qualify for the MAVTV100 to race both Firestone Indy Lights and the IZOD IndyCar Series this weekend.

"It was great to have Carlos go ahead of us, he gave me great information that I used for my run, and that was it. We've had great cars, we tested here very early in the season and for sure, we built up good momentum. I am very excited about this pole, it's one more point that we have in the championship. For me, there is one more qualifying session to go."  

Saavedra to serve as test driver for Andretti Autosport’s IZOD IndyCar Series test session at Sonoma Raceway

INDIANAPOLIS (July 13, 2012) – AFS Racing and Andretti Autosport announced today that they will again join forces as co-entrants of the No. 17 IZOD IndyCar Series entry to be driven by Sebastian Saavedra at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. As the official test driver for Andretti Autosport, the Colombian-born driver will test the AFS Racing Chevrolet at the Sonoma Raceway August 17 alongside teammates Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Saavedra, 22, also drove the No. 17 AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport INDYCAR entry at this year’s Indianapolis 500. He recorded the fastest practice lap of the day on May 13, and went on to a 26th place-finish after experiencing mechanical problems.

Saavedra is currently participating full-time in the Firestone Indy Lights series, where he is third in the championship point standings. He and the No. 27 AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport crew have a victory and five podium finishes in eight races so far this season.

Saavedra finished third in the Indy Lights championship and was awarded Rookie of the Year honors during the 2009 season driving for AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport. Saavedra made his IZOD IndyCar Series debut with Bryan Herta Autosport at the 2010 Indianapolis 500, and after running a partial IndyCar season with Conquest Racing in 2011, he has returned to the Indy Lights category to familiarize himself with the tracks and to race against many of the top up-and-coming young drivers in the series.

The AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport pairing has enjoyed success, winning two Firestone Indy Lights championships in 2008 with driver Raphael Matos and 2009 with JR Hildebrand. AFS/Andretti also joined forces in 2009 and 2010 with IZOD IndyCar Series entries piloted by Franck Montagny and Adam Carroll.

GARY PETERSON, OWNER, AFS RACING: “I’m very proud of Sebastian. Clearly, deciding to run the full season of Firestone Indy Lights was the right one. He’s been able to gauge the up-and-coming drivers while having an opportunity to run with the IndyCar drivers at the Andretti Autosport team. He’s gotten more oval and road course experience, test driven the IndyCars, and run the Indy 500. Now, he’s getting another IndyCar opportunity at Sonoma. Everything we’re doing is putting Seb in an excellent position to build upon his future and help set the stage for a great AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport 2013 program. Seb is from an amazing Colombian family. They are a caring, close family and have become very dear friends of my family. He is a talented driver with a great attitude; he has what it takes to become an IndyCar champion.”

Sebastian Saavedra, Team AFS Racing / Andretti Autosport, No. 27 Saavedra finished today's race second, after starting third. This is his fourth podium so far this season.

"It was a good race in the #27 car. I am a bit disappointed because I wanted first place very badly. I gave it my best, but it was just not good enough. It is a bit of déjà vu getting first, second and third again with Vautier and Guerrieri. Today was important points for the championship. I just need to stay focused and look ahead. A big thanks to my AFS Racing / Andretti Autosport crew for all of their hard work. I am very happy and looking forward to what is next."

Toronto Highlights FIL 2012
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Edmonton Highlights FIL 2012
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