Saavedra tabbed to drive SPM's No. 7 car

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Sebastian Saavedra has landed another return to the Verizon IndyCar Series.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced today that the 27-year-old Colombian will race its No. 7 Lucas Oil-sponsored Indy car in the Verizon IndyCar Series events at Pocono Raceway and Gateway Motorsports Park alongside James Hinchcliffe.

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Saavedra, who is racing in his seventh season as an Indy car driver, previously raced for the team this season at Toronto, finishing 11th. He also raced in the Indianapolis 500 with Juncos Racing.

“I am very excited to be back with the SPM organization,” Saavedra said. “It's another late call to jump in, but I take it with pride after a promising start of our relationship in Toronto. Looking forward to a challenging event as the ‘Tricky Triangle’ can be, and support (James) Hinchcliffe in his pursuit of championship points. I'm thankful to my sponsors and my continued relationship with AFS Inc.”

This Aug. 20 ABC Supply 500 will mark Saavedra’s third start at Pocono but his first oval as a member of SPM. He will again be paired with race engineer Blair Perschbacher, with whom Saavedra formed a race-winning combination in Indy Lights.

“Delighted to have Sebastian back with the SPM team following what was a very encouraging performance at the Toronto event,” said Piers Phillips, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ general manager. “He is experienced and competent, and I have no doubt he will contribute to the overall performance of the team. We’re heading to Pocono full of confidence as a team and we’re looking forward to hopefully seeing Sebastian and James at the front of the pack.”

The No. 7 Lucas Oil Honda will highlight Saavedra’s longtime partner AFS Racing at both Pocono and the Aug. 27 Bommarito Automotive Group 500.

 “It’s great to team up with (team co-owner) Sam (Schmidt) after the great rivalry we had in the (Indy) Lights championship,” said Gary Peterson, president and CEO of AFS Inc. “After Sebastian’s positive performance in Toronto, the next two events will be an opportunity to show his strength on ovals and that he is a great candidate for the 2018 season with SPM.”

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