KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Sunday, April 26, 2009) -- Sebastian Saavedra earned his first career victory in Firestone Indy Lights, winning the Kansas Lottery 100 under caution ahead of 2005 series champion Wade Cunningham. Saavedra passed Cunningham...
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Sunday, April 26, 2009) -- Sebastian Saavedra earned his first career victory in Firestone Indy Lights, winning the Kansas Lottery 100 under caution ahead of 2005 series champion Wade Cunningham.
Saavedra passed Cunningham on a Lap 10 restart and led the remainder of the 67 laps.
Mario Romancini finished third, Ana Beatriz fourth and Martin Plowman fifth. Jonathan Summerton took over the points lead with a seventh-place finish.
The race featured five cautions for 33 laps. Dillon Battistini, involved in the final incident of the race on Lap 59, was transported to KU Medical Center where all preliminary tests came back negative, however, he will remain at the facility overnight for observation.
FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS POST-RACE NOTES:
* Rookie Sebastian Saavedra earned his first Firestone Indy Lights victory in his fourth start. His previous best finish was second at St. Petersburg 2.
* Wade Cunningham finished second, his best finish since a second at Mid-Ohio 2 last year.
* Mario Romancini finished third, his first career top-five finish.
* Ana Beatriz finished fourth, her third top-five finish of the season.
* Martin Plowman finished a career-best fifth. His previous best was 15th at St. Petersburg 1 and Long Beach.
* Jonathan Summerton takes over the points lead after finishing seventh, his first finish outside the top four.
* Junior Strous, who entered the race as the points leader, finished 11th and ranks second in points.
* The top 10 finishers represent eight teams.
FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS POST-RACE QUOTES:
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc., first): "It's unbelievable. I cannot be happier than I am right now. AFS/Andretti Green did an incredible job, and I have to thank the guys. They were just unbelievable. The key was the restarts. I just had perfect timing behind Wade (Cunningham). I'm very happy for me but also the team. It's a win for Colombia, but hopefully the first of many more."
(About the conditions): "My main problem was the wind. It was really windy out there. I think the last half of the race I was struggling with the back (of the car) because there were so many wind changes. That was the only thing I had a problem with. My car was perfect. It was really fast. Hopefully, we can keep it going for the rest of the season."
WADE CUNNINGHAM (No. 11 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, second): "We're disappointed not to get the win after qualifying on the pole. But looking at the high downforce lap times in practice and then looking at the race, we just didn't have the strongest car today. Sebastian (Saavedra) was able to run the pace he wanted. No one else could get around him. I tried my best more than once, but I just couldn't get the pass completed on the outside when we were running two-wide, especially with the way the wind worked and the gearing. It was just very, very difficult. I'm happy with a second place and everything that goes with that, but I'm disappointed we couldn't hang on to the front."
MARIO ROMANCINI (No. 5 Revita/Win Brazil/Allied, third): "I'm very happy with my first oval race. Last week I had a problem with the gearbox and couldn't finish the race, so this is very important for the championship. We scored good points, and now let's think about Indy. I'm getting comfortable with the ovals. Every lap I'm learning. I just want to thank Firestone Indy Lights and my team. They did a fantastic job."
The 2009 IndyCar Series season continues May 24 with the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 1 p.m. (EDT) by ABC. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 211. The radio broadcast also will be carried on www.indycar.com. The 2009 Firestone Indy Lights season continues May 22 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be telecast at 12:30 p.m. (EDT) on May 22 by VERSUS. The Kansas Lottery 100 will air April 27 at 4 p.m. (EDT) on VERSUS.