INDIANAPOLIS, IN – May 28, 2017 – In a race that featured 10 yellow flags and one red due to a plethora of crashes and blown engines, plus numerous penalties, Sebastian Saavedra and Spencer Pigot not avoided the mayhem but turned in solid performances in Juncos Racing’s Indianapolis 500 debut today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana.
Saavedra, behind the wheel of the No. 17 AFS/Juncos Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone car, finished an Indy 500 career-high tying 15th, while Pigot, in the No. 11 Juncos Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone entry with sponsorship from Oceanfront Recovery through Rising Star Racing, P1 Management and Temple Fort Outfitters, placed 18th.
Commenting his first Indy 500, Juncos Racing owner Ricardo Juncos said, “We have finished what has been a huge effort from so many people. We brought both cars home in 15th and 18th place. It was a very tough race, the cars were not as good as they should have been and Spencer’s car was really not good, so I am very happy for him because he was so professional to bring it home. Sebastian did a good job to finish a team-high 15th. This is the beginning of the future for us, so I have to thank everybody for an amazing job.”
Saavedra qualified 31st for the 2017 Indianapolis 500 and drove a solid, patient race taking advantage of the mistakes of other drivers. The outgoing 26-year-old from Bogota, Colombia, who resides in Indianapolis, made his sixth Indy 500 start and first in the Verizon IndyCar Series since the Grand Prix of Sonoma in 2015. The 15th place finished equaled his best showing at Indy in 2015.
“We accomplished the mission we started less than two months ago,” Saavedra said. “To finish this first Indy 500 with both cars intact is a victory of its own. I’m very proud of the whole organization for putting in such a professional effort. It was rough out there. We were not as competitive as we wanted, but hey, that’s something that is expected your first time out. So, kudos to the whole team. I want to thank the AFS/Juncos Racing guys for all the amazing pit stops and David Cripps for a great strategy. Altogether, I’m just looking forward to what’s being built here because the future is very bright for this team. I wish them and the whole organization the best.”
Pigot, making just his second Indy 500 start qualified 29th for today’s race. He, struggled with the car from outset, but battled showing determination until the end. Pigot was rewarded with his best Indy 500 finish having placed 25th in his debut last year. The talented 23-year-old from Orlando, will now return to Ed Carpenter Racing where he is scheduled to run all the 2017 IndyCar road and street events.
“Very long, frustrating race,” Pigot said. “I think there’s still something I’m missing or something’s gone array with the car since the crash. It never really felt right and it was just very difficult to drive, but we fought through a tough day. We didn’t give up. The guys kept working hard and I can’t thank them enough for the recovery and for putting this all together.”