Indianapolis, Indiana (May 10, 2017) – Juncos Racing announced today that it has entered a car for Sebastian Saavedra in the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana.

The team, which is making its debut at the Brickyard, announced Tuesday that Spencer Pigot will also drive for the team giving it two entries in its inaugural Indianapolis 500..

Saavedra, 26, will be behind the wheel of the No. 17 AFS/Juncos Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone car. A veteran of 60 Verizon IndyCar starts, he has made five previous Indy 500 starts with a best finish of 15th in 2014. The 2017 Indy 500 marks Saavedra’s return to Verizon IndyCar competition after a one year hiatus.

“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 Racing owner Ricardo 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.”

Saavedra a native of Bogotá, Colombia began his career driving go-karts at age 10 before moving into cars in 2006. He competed in the Firestone Indy Lights Series in 2009 and won “Rookie of the Year” honors on the strength of a third place showing in the championship winning two races. Saavedra ran a partial Indy Lights Series season in 2010 and also made his first IndyCar start at the Indianapolis 500 for Bryan Herta Autosport. He has also competed in the Indy 500 for Andretti Autosport, 2012, Dragon Racing, 2013, KV Racing, 2014 (also captured the pole for the inaugural Indy Grand Prix) and Chip Ganassi, 2015.
Commenting on competing in the 2017 Indy 500 with Juncos Racing Saavedra said, “I am very excited about this opportunity. We have been working on this project for some time now and making it a happen is a great feeling for all the parties involved. I feel very blessed to have such a unique and special relationship with AFS for nine consecutive years. In particular with ‘’The Boss” Gary Peterson. After a year off, it is gratifying to be back on the race track. This is something I am very proud off and looking forward to.
“I want to thank Ricardo (Juncos) and the whole Juncos Racing organization. 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.”
Gary Peterson said, “I am proud to have supported Sebastian for the last nine years. He was very young when we first started together, but has worked hard to get where he is today. I also look forward to working with Ricardo Juncos. This is Ricardo’s first time at Indy and hopefully my experience there will be of assistance to him.. I look forward to seeing where this relationship goes from here.

About Juncos Racing:
Juncos Racing was founded by Argentinean Ricardo Juncos. It has been, and is, a highly successful team running in the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires and the Indy Lights Series. It currently fields two cars in the 2017 Indy Lights Series. And two cars in the Pro Mazda Series.

Juncos Racing joined the Mazda Road to Indy in 2009 with driver Peter Dempsey in the Star Mazda championship, now known as the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires. The following year, the team captured the 2010 Star Mazda championship with current Verizon IndyCar Series driver Conor Daly. In 2015, Juncos Racing captured the Indy Lights Championship with current Verizon IndyCar Series driver Spencer Pigot. To date, the team has earned seven championships, 41 wins and 45 pole positions in Indy Lights and Pro Mazda competition.

Juncos Racing was established by Ricardo Juncos in 1997 as a small formula car race program based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Juncos relocated to the United States in 2002 where he worked as a mechanic for a small karting team based in Florida. Juncos was then able to open his own shop and run in karting series throughout the United States before moving up to the Pro Mazda Championship, Indy Lights and will now have two cars competing in the 2017 Indianapolis 500.

The mission of Juncos Racing is to develop young drivers from around the world into the next level of their racing careers through the Juncos Racing Driver Development Program. Through this program, the team not only works with drivers on track to improve their skills behind the wheel, but also gives them the tools needed to understand the engineering and mechanics of the race car. Drivers who have participated in the program and have gone on to compete in the next level include Peter Dempsey, Conor Daly, Connor De Phillippi, Chase Austin, Kyle Kaiser, Nicolas Dapero and Spencer Pigot.

Juncos Racing relocated its headquarters in November 2016 to a new, state-of-art facility in Speedway, Indiana. The 40,000-square-foot building hosts multiple office spaces, eight car bays, paint booth, simulator room and machine shop, along with parking for multiple transporters.

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About AFS Racing:
Led by former driver Gary Peterson, AFS Racing has earned over 40 top-five finishes in FIL and won the series championship in 2008 and 2009. The team has been a frontrunner in the Verizon IndyCar Series at the IMS, with a pole in the 2014 Indy Grand Prix and taking the cash award for the fastest lap in preparation for the 2012 Indy 500. AFS Racing has become known as a mentor for young, talented drivers. Gary has developed over 15 drivers to the professional level in the FIL series before moving on to the IndyCar circuit. His proudest moment was a few years back when walking the starting grid for the 500 and he was reminded that on this particular day, nearly one third of the starting field had risen through his AFS Racing team.

About Automatic Fire Sprinklers Inc. (AFS Inc.):

Automatic Fire Sprinklers Inc. (AFS), founded by President/CEO Gary Peterson in 1987, is a fire protection company licensed in several western states. The headquarters is located in Huntington Beach, California with additional offices in Northern California and an engineering office in Vancouver, Washington. In business for almost thirty years, AFS has installed more residential fire sprinkler heads than any other fire protection contractor in the industry, and perhaps worldwide as the demand for fire sprinklers worldwide mainly began in the United States. We specialize in high density multi-family/mixed-use projects which consist of parking, retail and dwelling units above. AFS is also experienced in fire protection of single family homes, walk-up style apartments, hotels and various other types of commercial projects including the design and installation of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The growth of the company has been achieved by outstanding associates within the company that play key roles in each project from start to finish. Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc. provides exceptional service, integrity, competitive pricing and distinguished engineering systems.

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