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Sep 01, 2014 - 06:25 AM
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Saavedra Ends Season With Best Finish At Fontana
Posted by: newsla on Sep 01, 2014 - 06:20 AM
IndyCar News
Saavedra Ends Season With Best Finish At Fontana


Sebastian Saavedra finished the final race of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series with his best finish at the Auto Club Speedway, a 17th place showing last night in the MAVTV 500, in Fontana, CA.

 

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Saavedra qualified his No. 17 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc. - KV AFS Racing Chevrolet/Dallara Firestone car 20th on the two-mile D-shaped oval.

When the green flag was shown for the 250-lap race, Saavedra was able to gain a couple of spots early in the contest. As the stint went on he reported being loose and on his first stop the crew made a front wing adjustment. Saavedra continued to battle through the next four stints and despite being a couple of laps down, posted his fastest speed during his fourth stint, at 216.183 mph. When the first and only yellow flag of the night came out on lap 175, Saavedra's night got better. He was waved around, gaining back a lap and pitted for fuel and tires. When the race was restarted, the new tires instantly made an impact. He moved from 18th to 16th in just a few laps, but with eight laps remaining, he fell back one spot to 17th, where he remained until the checkered flag.

The 17th place showing ended Saavedra's season on a high note since it was his best finish at Fontana in three attempts (his previous best was 21st in 2012).

Commenting on last night's race Saavedra said, "I can't believe we have just had the last race of the season. Sad to say goodbye to racing for a while but really motivated for what's next. I'm really proud of the entire Automatic Fire Sprinklers - KV AFS team, we stayed focused and stuck together through the good and the bad times. Tonight we were expecting a little bit of understeer at the beginning but that didn't happen and we were very loose. It took us a couple of stints to get back to being competitive but then I was already a few laps down. The engineers did a great job to get the car more balanced and once it there I was able to get a lap back and start fighting and move up some positions, but it was just a little too late. The crew did some fantastic stops and everything went according to plan and I look forward to doing it all over again next year and having the chance to fight at the front."

The 24-year-old Colombian made his 22nd career oval start and third at the 2-mile D-shaped Auto Club Speedway. In 21 previous oval races, Saavedra has a best qualifying position of sixth and a best finish of 13th both last year in Milwaukee.

With last nights finale worth double points, Saavedra was able to earn 26 points, which placed him 21st in the championship standings with 291 and tied his finish in five IndyCar seasons, but only his second full season.

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