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Saavedra’s Debut Comes to an Early End

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Sebastian Saavedra, Indianapolis 500

Saavedra’s Debut Comes to an Early End

Andrew Herta
Bryan Herta Autosport
May 30, 2010

A promising IZOD IndyCar Series debut for 19-year-old rookie talent Sebastian Saavedra and Bryan Herta Autosport came to an early end this afternoon in the Indianapolis 500. Saavedra, who started 32nd, was running 21st with 40 laps remaining when he lost control of the #29 William Rast entry entering Turn 1. He was unhurt, and was credited with a 23rd-place finish.

Saavedra will return to his full-time job aboard the #29 William Rast Firestone Indy Lights entry in three weeks time when the series heads to Iowa Speedway on June 19.

Race Results:
1. Dario Franchitti
2. Dan Wheldon
3. Marco Andretti
23. Sebastian Saavedra

Sebastian Saavedra, #29 William Rast Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I am very disappointed. We had a strategy and my main goal was to finish the race. I was not focusing too much on my position. I knew we were doing a good job for me as a rookie. I just wanted to finish this race; this amazing experience. The William Rast crew did an incredible job of putting this car together, and I am really disappointed for my guys. I don’t know what happened exactly. We were battling with some understeer throughout the race and I came into Turn 1 with some turbulence from the car in front of me. My car wiggled and I just lost it. I was never expecting the rear to come around.

“This has been an unbelievable experience and I am very thankful for everything. For me not only as a driver but as a person, it is something I never will forget. It was an unfortunate ending but I will take the positive things out. I will take what I learned from this wonderful day and put all this into practice next time.”

Bryan Herta, Team Co-Owner: “Obviously, we are disappointed to finish that way with the William Rast car but I really can’t be disappointed with anything that happened to us this month. We qualified for our first Indy 500, Donnie [Lambert] was a well-deserving recipient of the Clint Brawner award and Sebastian gained a lot of needed experience. It didn’t end great but it doesn’t for 32 drivers every year. This place is like that. I am very happy that we were able to put our first IndyCar race together and run competitively. Now I am looking forward to the next one.”

Roberto Guerrero [Mentoring Saavedra]: “It is a little disappointing finishing that way but, at the same time, I think Sebastian did really well. He just lost it. It happens. He was fighting an understeer and all of a sudden the car swapped ends on him. I think Sebastian gained a lot of great experience and he showed that he can run with everyone. We just have to chalk it up to good experience.”

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