"After a long weekend in Detroit with a great car, but not the results we were wanting, we look forward to returning to oval racing," said Saavedra. "I felt very strong at the test we did there a month ago and combined with everything we learned at Indy a few weeks ago, the KV AFS Racing team should have a positive weekend. The hot conditions are definitely going to be hard, but we've been prepping ourselves for this and are ready to get back on track in a few days."
The young Colombian is coming off a long month of May with mixed emotions. He was ecstatic when he earned his first IndyCar pole at the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis at the beginning of the month. However, he watched his world flash before eyes as he and his stalled car sat helplessly on the grid at the start of the race. All but two cars whizzed past him, resulting in a horrific accident that thankfully he walked away from. Saavedra then had a few days to recover before qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, which saw him start in the middle of the last row. Unfazed, he drove a patient and smart race, avoiding trouble up front to gain 17 spots and have his best finish, 15th, in four Indy 500 starts. Moving on to Detroit last weekend, the first of three doubleheader weekends on the 2014 Verizon IndyCar schedule, Saavedra narrowly missed out on the second round of qualifying for Race 1 and was looking to have a top-10 finish, but on the last lap came up short on fuel and finished 14th. He had a fantastic qualifying for Race 2, starting on row five (ninth) and by the end of lap one was seventh, however a misjudgment when passing Ryan Briscoe saw him make contact with the wall, ending his day after just nine laps.
Saavedra had a solid start to the 2014 season; he led his first IndyCar laps at Long Beach and repeated it at Barber Motorsports Park the following race, climbed an impressive 13 spots in Long Beach to earn his first season top-10 finish of the season and secured his first career IndyCar pole at the GP of Indy.
Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Saavedra has been among the youngest drivers in nearly every series he has competed in. He joined the Firestone Indy Lights just before his 19th birthday and that year was awarded Rookie of the Year Honors with AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport. He moved to Bryan Herta Autosport for 2010 where he made his Indianapolis 500 debut becoming the third Colombian driver to do so. Saavedra then stepped up to the IndyCar Series in 2011 with Conquest Racing before returning to Indy Lights in 2012. Last year he spent the entire season back in IndyCar with Dragon Racing.
The Firestone 600 will be broadcast live on NBCSports at 8:00 p.m. (ET) on June 7. IMS Radio Network coverage is augmented by real-time Timing & Scoring on www.indycar.com and the INDYCAR 14 app. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also can be heard on network affiliates, XM 209 and Sirius 213.