Photo: Shawn Gritzmacher/INDYCAR

Saavedra Announced as Second Driver for Juncos Racing’s Indy 500 Debut

By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief

Sebastian Saavedra is set to make his sixth start in the Indianapolis 500 after being confirmed for the second car at Juncos Racing.

The announcement came just 24 hours after Spencer Pigot was revealed for the first car, giving team owner Ricardo Juncos two drivers with prior experience at the 2.5-mile oval.

Saavedra will pilot the No. 17 AFS/Juncos Racing Chevrolet, with AFS owner Gary Peterson a partner in the effort.

A best career finish at Indianapolis of 15th in 2014 with KV Racing (Ironically, whom Juncos bought the equipment from), the 26-year-old Columbian hasn’t competed in the iconic race since 2015 with Chip Ganassi Racing.

A veteran of 60 starts, Saavedra expressed his excitement to return to the cockpit after a full year away for the Verizon IndyCar Series.

“I want to thank Ricardo (Juncos) and the whole Juncos Racing organization,” said Saavedra, via a team release. “Back in January going into the new Juncos Racing shop and seeing the great man power and the facilities gave me a lot of confidence. I’m approaching this year with the right mindset. I am looking forward to a strong month of May for both AFS and Juncos Racing.”

Juncos admitted heading into the month of May that he was looking for a driver that had experience that could help better the team, and that box has been checked with the addition of Saavedra.

“I am pleased to announce that Sebastian Saavedra will drive the No. 17 AFS/ Juncos Racing in the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500,” said Juncos.

“Sebastian’s IndyCar oval and Indy 500 experience will be an asset for our team especially considering that this will be our first year at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“I want to thank AFS owner and co-entrant of the AFS/Juncos Racing car, Gary Peterson, for making this relationship possible. Gary also has a lot of experience at the Speedway which I know will be helpful to our effort. I also want to thank the management of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Verizon IndyCar Series and Chevrolet for their advice and support as we embark on this adventure.”

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Joey Barnes is the Founder of Motorsports Tribune. He has covered auto racing since 2013 that has spanned from Formula 1 to NASCAR, with coverage on IndyCar. Additionally, his work has appeared on Racer, and Autoweek magazine. In 2017, he was recognized with an award in Spot News Writing by the National Motorsports Press Association.