Joining the top guns of IndyCar

Sebastian Saavedra and Simon Pagenaud have the opportunity to drive for two of the most successful names in IndyCar, this weekend.

Joining the top guns of IndyCar
Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske Chevrolet
Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske Chevrolet
Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske Chevrolet
Front row photoshoot: Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske Chevrolet, Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet and polesitter Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
French flag in downtown Sebring
Sebastian Saavedra, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Sebastian Saavedra, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Sebastian Saavedra, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet

INDIANAPOLIS - Going into the 2015 Indianapolis 500, two teams are being mentioned almost interchangeably as the ones who will win this race. Simon Pagenaud and Sebastian Saavedra have the opportunity to be a part of those aforementioned operations.

A 'tremendous opportunity'

"It's fantastic (to be a part of Team Penske), it's a really great feeling," Pagenaud told Motorsport.com. "It's a tremendous opportunity and for personally, it's a big milestone in my career. I foresee the next 12 years with them, maybe 15! It's going really well, finding my place in the team. Race after race, it's improving."

"So far, so good. I've had a fantastic car - Couldn't be any happier."

In regards to how well the transition has gone as he finds his place among the Penske fleet, "It's going well and only going to get better as time goes by. This month has been really good because you're with your mechanics, your engineers, your teammates every day - Non-stop. So you got to make it work and you get to know each other better.

For France

Pagenaud could also make history for his homeland this weekend. He is the first Frenchman to start on the front row for the 500 since 1919 and could also be the first French winner since 1919. "I would be so happy to win for my country. It would be fantastic for the sport and for IndyCar in Europe, in France. We can be the next big news after Sebastien Loeb!"

Saavedra joins Ganassi

Saavedra's situation is slightly different. He is not part of the Ganassi roster full-time, but the young driver is thankful to have any chance to work with one of the most successful teams in series history as he goes in search of his first victory.

"It's such a different vibe," he said. "Not only is it a big team, but I have big teammates and that, for me, is the coolest part. I'm able to rely on their experience, trying to absorb as much information as possible. We are really the rookie team in the situation."

Despite qualifying 28th, the Colombian is already looking at how he will make his charge to the front. "I'm starting from the back and I already have a plan on how to win the thing. If somebody is racing the Indy 500 and doesn't think they have a shot, then they shouldn't be there."

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