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May 17, 2014 - 10:40 AM
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KV Afs Racing Sebastian Saavedra Is Ready For Indianapolis 500 Qualifying
Posted by: newsla on May 17, 2014 - 10:37 AM
IndyCar News
KV Afs Racing Sebastian Saavedra Is Ready For Indianapolis 500 Qualifying

KV AFS Racing Sebastian Saavedra has put last weekend behind him and is ready for qualifying tomorrow for the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana.


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Saavedra was only able to get back in the car on Wednesday after a horrific accident while sitting on pole for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis last weekend. The crash left him uninjured, but his No. 17 KV AFS Racing car needing to be completely stripped and rebuilt (in two days).

Saavedra turned just seven laps on Wednesday due to the rain, but mentally it was good for him and the whole team to just get out. He ran 41 laps with a best speed of 223.181mph on Thursday, giving the crew a confidence boost and allowing Saavedra to concentrate on working through the team's qualifying and race program. He spent yesterday working in traffic before doing a qualifying simulation at the end of the day. Saavedra finished the session in 17th with a speed of 223.955. Once again, practice time was limited, with Saavedra only able to complete five laps before the yellow was shown and track activity was concluded. He had his best speed on his final lap of 226.181 mph, which put him 20th on the speed charts.

Commenting on practice this week and qualifying tomorrow, Saavedra said, "We haven't been able to have as much track time as we had expected, mainly because of the weather but also with what happened at the race last weekend, which took a couple of days away from us. With that said, we are still happy with how everything is going and feel we have a strong car for this month. Going into qualifying this weekend, everyone is a little uncertain of the outcome because of the temperature changes we have had the last few days effects the trim. We just need to keep focus on our program, knowing that we have a strong car. Tomorrow will be very different from any other day so it will be a challenge not just for us but everyone else. We need to do a good job and focus on having a solid start and good points and hopefully fighting for those top nine spots and then having a different perspective for the race."

Saavedra qualified for his first Indy 500 in 2010 at age 19. He has since made two more starts, with his best qualifying of 24th in 2012 and his best finish of 23rd in 2010. He will line-up in 38th tomorrow for his qualifying attempt.

The 23-year-old, from Bogota, Colombia 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 format for qualifications has been revamped for 2014. It will feature a Fast Nine Shootout (on Sunday) to determine the Verizon P1 award winner and the first three rows for the race May 25. In addition each entry is required to make one four-lap qualifying attempt both Saturday and Sunday, the first day to secure one of the 33 sports and the second day to determine their starting position.

Qualifications tomorrow will be broadcast on ABC from 4-6 p.m. (ET) and then 1-3 p.m. (ET) on May 18. 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.

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