AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing Teammates Go '2-3' in Season Finale at Homestead-Miami
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Oct. 9, 2009) - AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing teammates J.R. Hildebrand and Sebastian Saavedra drove to second- and third-place finishes, respectively, in today's Firestone Indy Lights season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Hildebrand, who clinched the series championship at Chicagoland Speedway in the penultimate round of the series, started seventh in the field and led 32 laps before being passed at the stripe by race-winner Mario Romancini. The margin of victory was .0057 of a second and stands as the second-closest finish in series history.
Saavedra suffered a mechanical issue during qualifying and was forced to start 16th in the field, but moved steadily forward during the 67-lap race. Saavedra's podium effort secured third for him in the championship standings and left him one point shy of second.
J.R. Hildebrand, #26 AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing Dallara/Firestone:
"All around, this was a great race and a great way to end the year for the team. I can't be more thankful to Gary Peterson, Michael Andretti, mom and dad and all the guys on the team for helping me out. Everybody did an awesome job.
"We qualified further back than we wanted, but we worked on our race setup and the thing was pretty good. It fell off a little bit more after that last restart than I thought it would, but Mario did a good job. He helped me out a lot earlier in the race, so I'm happy for him. I'm excited about what might be up next for me. This was a good way to cap it off."
Sebastian Saavedra, #27 AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing Dallara/Firestone:
"Tonight was, for sure, the hardest race of the season. With my points standing being decided tonight, there was more pressure involved than normal. I think we had some tough luck this morning with qualifying, but we kept calm and knew that we had a car that could make it to the front. The whole #27 crew did a great job and I'm happy for third place and for my teammate's championship win."