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Saavedra Wins in Iowa

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Sebastian Saavedra, Stefan Wilson, AvoidTheStork.com 100

Saavedra Wins in Iowa

Andrew Herta
Bryan Herta Autosport
June 20, 2010

Sebastian Saavedra scored his first win of the season in dominant fashion Saturday evening with a flag-to-flag victory in the AvoidTheStork.com 100 at Iowa Speedway. Saavedra, who claimed his third pole position and the first for Bryan Herta Autosport, finished 0.4820 of a second ahead of Martin Plowman. It was an exciting finish which saw Saavedra’s lead aboard the #29 William Rast machine evaporate in the closing laps when he was caught in traffic, but he managed to hold off a hard-charging Plowman and J.K. Vernay to take the victory.

This was Saavedra’s third career Firestone Indy Lights win [Kansas and Toronto in 2009] and ninth podium finish. The result now has Saavedra tied with Plowman for fourth in the championship standings, only nine points out of second. This was the second Indy Lights win [Chicago 2009] for BHA and team owners Bryan Herta and Steve Newey.

Teammate Stefan Wilson, who was first and second in the two practice sessions, made an impressive debut in his first short track race and only second oval event. Starting fourth, Wilson held that position until getting caught out on a restart on Lap 71 where he lost several positions. He finished seventh and is currently sixth in the standings.

BHA will return to racing action on July 4 at Watkins Glen.

Race Results:
1. Sebastian Saavedra
2. Martin Plowman
3. J.K. Vernay
7. Stefan Wilson

Sebastian Saavedra, #29 William Rast Dallara/Firestone: “The car was amazing. You can’t imagine how good this car was. The team just did a fantastic job. Those last 10 laps [in traffic] were crazy. I wanted to make the right decisions and not risk crashing. I saw these guys were coming fast but we pulled through and I’m very happy. This victory tastes even sweeter after those last 10 laps.”

Stefan Wilson, #28 Dallara/Firestone: “I’m a little bit disappointed. I feel like we had a quick car but we just never got to show it. The #28 guys did a great job. We were working really hard the whole race trying to move up. That last yellow just really hurt us bad. I didn’t do a good enough job of cleaning the tires during the caution and the first lap green again was a bit nerve wracking. The car was really bad into Turn 1 and we lost a lot of places. I tried to make them up. Then right at the end, the fuel pump malfunctioned.”

Bryan Herta, Team Co-Owner: “It has really been a dream weekend for us with our first pole position as a team and Sebastian’s win. Stefan did a great job in his first short track race and learned a lot. We gained some important points in the championship and have a lot of momentum heading towards the midpoint of the season.”

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