BREAKING: Saavedra in for Aleshin

News just broke that Sebastian Saavedra, who we last saw driving for Juncos Racing at the 101st Indianapolis 500, will be in the #7 Schmidt Peterson Racing car that is normally occupied by Russian driver Mikhail Aleshin.

Saavedra will be driving with support from his long time supporter Gary Peterson and AFS Sprinklers. Saavedra has not driven on a street circuit since Toronto in 2015 for Chip Ganassi Racing.

The team and Aleshin have both declined to comment on the situation of the Russian driver. Aleshin will be in attendance to support the team.

Saavedra at Sonoma in 2015 (Photo: Getty Images North America)

My Opinion

This one is just bizarre and it came out of nowhere. Saavedra, who has had ample opportunities to impress teams to earn a ride, once again gets a gift wrapped to him in the form of another quality ride.

As far as Aleshin goes, my first instinct was that Aleshin once again had visa issues with traveling outside of the United States. However, given that he is going to be at the race, that pretty much takes care of that. So it either has to be a funding issue, which was once again rumored to have run out just after Texas, or it was has to be a quality of results issue. Aleshin continues to encounter hard luck / misfortunes throughout the year.

Given, however, that he will be there on behalf of the team, I'm going to 'speculate' that it is indeed a funding issue, especially since Schmidt could have chosen any driver but decided to go with the one who already had funding.

Thanks for reading!

-Matthew Hickey