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Saavedra, Wilson Will Start 12th and 13th in Friday’s Freedom 100

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Sebastian Saavedra, Freedom 100

Saavedra, Wilson Will Start 12th and 13th in Friday’s Freedom 100

Andrew Herta
Bryan Herta Autosport
May 28, 2010


After the opening three Firestone Indy Lights races of the season were all held on street and road courses, the action now switches to the ovals and the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway which will host Round Four tomorrow (Friday, May 28). The Freedom 100 will serve as an accompaniment to the traditional “Carb Day” festivities that lead up to the Memorial Day weekend’s 94th running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.

Bryan Herta Autosport drivers Stefan Wilson and Sebastian Saavedra already have one podium finish apiece to their credit this year and currently lie sixth and fifth, respectively, in the championship standings.

The pair concentrated on their race setups during this morning’s practice sessions, and remain optimistic despite qualifying only 12th and 13th for tomorrow’s 40-lap race, which will start at 12 noon. Live television coverage will be provided by VERSUS. All the ontrack action also can be followed at www.indycar.com.

Of Note:

· Wilson will be making his very first oval track start
· Wilson was present at Indianapolis last year, accompanying his older brother, Justin Wilson, who started 15th and was classified 23rd in the Indianapolis 500
· Saavedra is only the third driver ever – and by far the youngest – to attempt the “double” by racing both in the Freedom 100 and the Indianapolis 500
· Saavedra will start 33rd for the Indy 500 despite a heavy crash during practice on a dramatic Bump Day
· Saavedra qualified fifth for the Indy Lights race at Indy last year and led three laps en route to a fifth-place finish, driving for AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing

Freedom 100 Qualifying Results:

1. Pippa Mann 187.989 mph
2. Wade Cunningham 187.742 mph
3. Charlie Kimball 187.375 mph
12. Sebastian Saavedra 185.284 mph
13. Stefan Wilson 184.085 mph

Stefan Wilson, #28 BHA Dallara/Firestone: “I was in Indianapolis for the whole of May last year to cheer on my brother and watch the race. I loved it. The atmosphere and the amount of people was just incredible. This is going to be my first oval race, my first time racing at Indy, so I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve done a few oval tests and enjoyed it, so I’m looking forward to getting out there and experiencing it for myself. It’s going to be a really big challenge and I just want to keep level-headed. The goal is just to finish the race, run every lap and learn as much as possible and concentrate on getting the best finish I can.” On qualifying 13th: “We have been working during practice on a race setup, so we kind of expected to be a bit off in qualifying, but hopefully it will pay off for us tomorrow in the race.”

Sebastian Saavedra, #29 William Rast Dallara/Firestone: “It was very hot out there. I think the hottest it has been so far, and that really affects the setup. Qualifying was a bit disappointing, for sure, but we have been concentrating on the race setup so I’m sure we will have a good car tomorrow.” How are you feeling after your big crash on Bump Day? “I have a sore neck, but for everything else I feel wonderful.” How difficult has it been to adapt between the two cars? “It’s been very hard actually. Jumping from one car to the other is quite a challenge. It’s something that, setup wise, doesn’t help because the changes you might make for an Indy car don’t work on an Indy Lights car, and vice versa, but we’re getting used to it. In an Indy Lights car, you have to be more careful with everything you do with the steering wheel because any slight movement will make you lose time. On an Indy car everything is a lot faster and it’s more sensitive to changes.”

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