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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Saavedra Out at Bryan Herta Autosport

Daniel Herrington will step into the No. 29 William Rast Dallara for Bryan Herta Autosport in tonight's Firestone Indy Lights Series race at Kentucky Speedway.

Herrington, who drove full-time for the team last year and has thus far been without a ride this season, replaces Sebastian Saavedra, who is leaving the team. Saavedra currently ranks fifth in Indy Lights points, with one win at Iowa. Herrington placed seventh in the standings last year, with a win at Chicago. Saavedra and Herrington finished second and sixth at the Kentucky race last year, respectively.

This marks the second impromptu driver change of the season for BHA, who replaced their other driver, Stefan Wilson, at Sonoma due to sponsorship woes. His replacement, Joel Miller, finished a respectable ninth. Wilson has since returned to the team.

The team has not yet settled on a driver for the season finale at Homestead, though Herrington is the likely choice.

According to 16th and Georgetown's Twitter account, Saavedra's father broke the news to team owner Bryan Herta last night.

“This turn of events has come to me, our sponsor and our entire race team as quite a surprise. Needless to say I am deeply disappointed," Herta said. "We greatly appreciate and admire Daniel’s willingness to step into our No. 29 William Rast Indy Lights entry on extremely short notice.”

Saavedra updated his own Twitter account today with the following: "As many will ask. Yes I will not be racing for the rest of the season with Bryan Herta Autosport. Was a tough decision but it's made. After last races things haven't gone the way they should. And at last my managers and main sponsor made the decision to stop to not continue harming my racing career and name.. I'm frustrated and sad to break up the news but that's it."

Saavedra continued, "I'm very thankful to all my mechanics, and engineers. Unfortunately things did not work contract wise but I will still be working hard to bring my countries name high!"

Saavedra was slow in the second practice session for today's Drive Smart. Buckle Up Kentucky 100, having turned a best lap nearly four miles per hour off the pace of leader James Hinchcliffe. He did not post a time in the first practice session and was one of three drivers not to make a qualifying run.

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