Indy 500: Bryan Herta Autosport Bump Day report

Cinderella Story for Saavedra Amazing Birthday Present for Team Owner Herta What looked to be a bitter day for Bryan Herta Autosport turned into one of celebration -- and relief -- as rookie Sebastian Saavedra made the field for next weekend's...

Cinderella Story for Saavedra
Amazing Birthday Present for Team Owner Herta

What looked to be a bitter day for Bryan Herta Autosport turned into one of celebration -- and relief -- as rookie Sebastian Saavedra made the field for next weekend's Indianapolis 500. It was a valiant effort which required a little help from Lady Luck for the second-year Firestone Indy Lights squad led by Bryan Herta, who celebrated his 40th birthday today, and team co-owner Steve Newey.

Saavedra, 19, from Colombia, found himself on the bubble with a lap time of 223.634 mph entering the final hours of Bump Day this afternoon. With just over an hour remaining in the session, Saavedra went out for a practice run in preparation for another qualifying effort. Unfortunately, the run ended with heavy contact in Turn 1.

He was transported to Methodist Hospital as a precaution and it was there, while waiting to undergo an MRI (the results were negative), that he learned he made the field when qualifying attempts by Paul Tracy and Jay Howard failed to pay off. Saavedra will start 33rd.

Sebastian Saavedra, #29 William Rast Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "I had just turned on the television in my hospital room and I saw an interview with Bryan and my crew jumping up and down. My family starting jumping in celebration. This is wonderful for me and my country (Colombia). I'm still trying to process it. I want to thank Bryan Herta Autosport and William Rast for believing in me and making my dream come true.

"I had a sharp pain my upper back, but the MRI came back clean. I'll have a big bruise, but it's all good."

-source: bha

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Paul Tracy , Bryan Herta , Jay Howard , Sebastian Saavedra
Teams Bryan Herta Autosport