The 23-year-old will be making his third IndyCar start at Barber this weekend.
BIRMINGHAM, AL - KV AFS driver Sebastian Saavedra has qualified 13th for tomorrow's Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.
Saavedra, behind the wheel of the No. 17 KV AFS Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone entry, was never higher than 17th in three practice sessions prior to qualifying. He went out in the first group for round one of qualifying and had a solid performance with a time of 68.9674 seconds (120.057 mph) on the 2.38-mile, 17 turn permanent road course. He spent the session on the bubble and looked to be advancing to the next round, however on the last lap Juan Pablo Montoya slipped past him, putting Saavedra seventh in the group and therefore did not advance.
"Since the beginning we had the car, but we just couldn't put a lap together," said Saavedra. "I think we went a little bit too early with tires and unfortunately I had nothing at the end and so Montoya bumped me out of sixth spot. I think we do have a great race car for tomorrow and hopefully the changing track conditions during the race won't surprise us too much. My KV AFS crew has done a great job this weekend and tomorrow should be a good day."
The 23-year-old will be making his third IndyCar start at Barber this weekend. In two previous races he has a best starting position of ninth and a best finish of 20th, both achieved last year. Saavedra has however enjoyed success at Barber Motorsports Park, taking the pole and winning the race in 2012 and finishing third in 2010 while competing in the Indy Lights Series.
This weekend, Saavedra makes his third start of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season. In the season opener at St. Petersburg, Saavedra qualified 11th and finished 11th and then two weeks ago at Long Beach battled his way from 23rd to pickup his first top-10 finish of the year, ninth.
Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Saavedra has been among the youngest drivers in nearly every series he has competed in. He joined the Firestone Indy Lights just before his 19th birthday and that year was awarded Rookie of the Year Honors with AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport. He moved to Bryan Herta Autosport for 2010 where he made his Indianapolis 500 debut becoming the third Colombian driver to do so. Saavedra then stepped up to the IndyCar Series in 2011 with Conquest Racing before returning to Indy Lights in 2012. Last year he spent the entire season back in IndyCar with Dragon Racing.
The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will be broadcast live on NBC Sports and IndyCar radio at 2:30 p.m. ET.