Sebastian Saavedra earned his third podium finish of the season in the Husar's House of Fine Diamonds 100 Firestone Indy Lights race at Milwaukee on Sunday, and kept himself within ten points of AFS Racing/Andretti Green team-mate JR Hildebrand despite what started as a tough weekend.
The Colombian initially put himself behind the eight ball when he hit the wall on his first lap of practice on Saturday, but fought back to the front from there, surviving another setback while avoiding an incident in the race.
"For sure, it was a great day," said Saavedra, who finished second in St Petersburg and won at Kansas Speedway, "Since the start of the weekend, we knew that many good cars, many good drivers, were going into this Milwaukee Mile. Since the beginning, we knew it was going to be a conservative race, and to gain points for the championship was, for sure, the main thing we were looking for."
Saavedra, who started fourth in the 100-lap race, found himself deep in the pack early in the event, having been following Jonathan Summerton at a lap five restart when the American spun off of turn four.
"I was not very lucky in the first restart, where Summerton spun in front of me, making me lose about five or six positions," the F3 graduate said, "That took me out right away in the battle for the win, but I just kept calm. We knew AFS/AGR did a great job with the set-up, and I just saved the tires for the last 20 laps."
Those last 20 laps featured a close battle with James Davison, James Hinchcliffe and Gustavo Yacaman, but Saavedra proved to have the measure of his rivals.
"After I knew the race was going to start opening itself up, I just start passing [them] one by one, but in a very conservative way, to gain points for the championship." he said, "Even in that position, it was risking almost as much as I did during the whole race."
Saavedra, who has started in the top four in five of the six races, will have to wait for his next chance to challenge Hildebrand for the points lead, with the Firestone Indy Lights schedule taking a break until resuming on 20 June at Iowa Speedway.