Heartbreak for Lowe's Fernandez Racing in Season Finale
It was a day of bitter disappointment for the Lowe's Fernandez Racing team in the ALMS season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Adrian Fernandez was running third overall and second in class as the final 60 minutes of the four-hour race approached. When he returned to the pits for his final stop of the day on Lap 103, the #15 Lowe's Acura would not restart. A problem with the car's battery proved costly. The crew was able to replace the unit but Fernandez fell a lap down to the front of the field.
The end result was even more heartbreaking as Fernandez had a fast car, which he proved by setting the fastest lap of the race overall on Lap 115 -- a lap that set a new race lap record and was also five tenths of a second quicker than the next fastest lap.
Adrian Fernandez, #15 Lowe's Acura ARX: "Today was typical of the season we have had. It doesn't matter if we did the fastest lap and were fast in the race. At the end of the day, you win races by not having any or fewer problems than the others. We have already started our work for 2009 and testing begins in January. Next year will be our year."
Luis Diaz, #15 Lowe's Acura ARX: "It was a tough race for us. For me, my stint was complicated. We did the right thing with our tires [compound] for qualifying but it cost me a little bit on my first stint with the handling of the car. Having so many yellow flags at the beginning was bad for me. My car with more green flag laps was way better than anybody else. Unfortunately, my car was a lot looser than everybody else on the restarts. I did what I had to do and kept the car on the track. I gave the car to Adrian and he did a fantastic job but unfortunately the car wouldn't start on our last pit stop. It is very sad because he did a fantastic job and set the fastest lap of the race by half a second and I think we had a car to win today. I feel bad. It is what it is but we deserve more than this."