After just 39 laps, he was running 15th when first a yellow and then a red flag was waved for rain. The 300-lap contest resumed 26 minutes later. On the initial restart the course went straight back to yellow for an incident, but when it returned to green, Saavedra started flying through the field. One-by-one he would approach the next car, set them up on the front straight and pass them on the inside in turn one. By his second pit stop he was running 10th and during the third stint there was no stopping him.
Saavedra moved into third with two laps to go before his third stop on lap 162. However, with worn tires and a loose car, he had a "moment" that he almost saved, but ended with him tapping the wall. Saavedra was able drive the car back to the pits and his crew worked quickly to repair the damage to the right rear. Unfortunately, with a lap on the shortest oval in the Verizon IndyCar Series taking only 17+ seconds, Saavedra was six laps down when he rejoined the race now in 18th place. Saavedra continued the good fight and was able to take advantage of another drivers mistakes to move to 17th, but when the car didn't feel right on lap 258, he pitted once again and the decision was then made to retire.
"Very hard to describe how disappointed I am," said Saavedra. "This was our day, we had a car that I connected very well with. We were very loose from the beginning but I loved it and I was driving where I needed to drive it. Unfortunately at the end of the third stint, everyone was struggling with grip and my rear tires were extremely worn and I just couldn't save this "moment" and it ended our day. Last nights result doesn't show how good a car we had. I want to apologize to everyone who believed in me today, we had this race and I take full responsibility. We have shown that we can do and that we belong at the front, so we will keep digging and head to Toronto next weekend."
Saavedra has raced at Iowa six times, three times in IndyCar (2014, 2013 and 2011) and three times in Indy Lights (2012, 2010 and 2009). He won the race from pole in 2010 while competing in Indy Lights and has an IndyCar best finish and start of 17th this year.
The 24-year-old made just his 20th oval start last night, having spent his early racing career predominately on road/street courses. He has a career best finish of 13th and a best start of 6th both from Milwaukee last year. Saavedra sits 20th in the championship standings with 209 points.
The next race for Saavedra and the KV AFS team will be the third doubleheader on the Verizon indyCar Series schedule, the Honda Indy Toronto, July 18-20, on the streets of downtown Toronto. Both races will be broadcast live on NBCSports at 3:00 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.