HILDEBRAND LEADS WIRE-TO-WIRE FOR LONG BEACH WIN; SAAVEDRA POSTS IMPRESSIVE DRIVE TO EIGHTH
LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 19, 2009) - AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing driver J.R. Hildebrand started from the pole and led every lap en route to posting his second career victory and first win of 2009 in Sunday's Firestone Indy Lights Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Hildebrand's AFS/AGR teammate Sebastian Saavedra made an impressive run through field from his 17th starting position and wound up eighth in just his second series event.
Hildebrand's performance on Sunday paved the way for a five-spot jump in the series standings from eighth to third and leaves him just seven points shy of the top spot. Saavedra also gained ground Sunday moving up one spot to sixth, 36 points behind leader Junior Strous.
Sunday's Grand Prix of Long Beach will air Monday, April 20, at 4 p.m. on Versus.
The 2009 Firestone Indy Lights schedule resumes next Sunday with the Kansas Lottery 100 at Kansas Speedway where Hildebrand is the defending race winner.
J.R. Hildebrand, #26 AFS/AGR driver:
"We just had a great car and the ARPRO guys have just done a great job all weekend. We had a great car at St. Petersburg, but we had some mechanicals going on or we could have been just as good there. I have to give all the credit to the boys for picking it up after a rough weekend. I think we have the potential to be the fastest on the track everywhere we go. We had a good run at Kansas last year and picked up some miles in the IndyCar (Series car) a couple weeks ago, so maybe that will give us a leg up on everyone. Obviously, I'm looking for a good weekend there next week."
Sebastian Saavedra, #27 AFS/AGR driver:
"I'm very happy. The AFS/AGR crew did an awesome job today. We started from the back and worked our way through the field. Every point counts in the championship, so I'm pleased with our finish. I'm also very happy for J.R.'s win; he did a great job. I'm looking forward to the Kansas race, so hopefully we'll have a good weekend there."