Road America: Fernandez Racing preview

Lowe's Fernandez Racing Aiming for Second Consecutive Podium The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) heads to Elkhart Lake, Wis., this weekend for Round Eight of competition -- the Generac 500. At 4.048 miles, Road America is the second longest ...

Lowe's Fernandez Racing Aiming for Second Consecutive Podium

The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) heads to Elkhart Lake, Wis., this weekend for Round Eight of competition -- the Generac 500. At 4.048 miles, Road America is the second longest circuit on the ALMS tour and a driver favorite with long straights, fast and slow corners and numerous elevation changes.

Lowe's Fernandez Racing drivers Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz count the 14-turn permanent road course at the top of their preferred lists. While both will be making their sports car debuts on the historic circuit, the pair have enjoyed past success at Road America.

Fernandez brings the most experience to the team with 11 career starts in Champ Car competition at Road America and a finishing record that includes three podiums and five top-five drives. Diaz made his one and only appearance at Road America in 2002, where he won in Atlantic competition.

In its first season in the ALMS, Lowe's Fernandez Racing has claimed four top-five results in the seven races held to date including its second podium of the year three weeks ago at Mid-Ohio.

Saturday's four-hour race will begin at 5:00 pm EST and will be broadcast by NBC Sports on Sunday, August 12th, at 2:30 pm EST.

Race Notes:

*  Circuit -- 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course

* Saturday's ALMS race will be 4 hours (5:00 pm ET start)
* Driver changes: each driver must complete at least 10 laps to be
eligible for point awards, and a driver may not drive more than three
hours total in the race
* Three additional points are added to first to tenth position in the
championship point structure for races that are four hours in length

Of Note:


* Fernandez has made 11 career open-wheel starts at Road America,
claiming three podiums and five top-five finishes; his best result
was second in 2000; his last race at Road America was in 2003
* Diaz has made one open-wheel career start at Road America in Atlantic
competition in 2002; he qualified third and won the race
* Fernandez and Diaz have claimed four top-five finishes in the seven
races held to date in 2007 with podium finishes at Sebring (2nd) and
Mid-Ohio (3rd)
* With a third-place result at Mid-Ohio three weeks ago, Lowe's
Fernandez Racing continues to narrow the gap in the championship
point standings with Fernandez and Diaz sixth in the standings only
13 points outside the top three
* Fernandez entered sports car competition in 2006 after a successful
career at the top levels of open-wheel racing
* Diaz, voted "Driver of the Year" in Mexico in 2006, brings the most
sports car racing experience to the team with eight wins in three
years of Grand-Am competition

Fernandez on Road America: "This is definitely my favorite track and I know it well. It's very smooth and flowing and a real pleasure to drive. I have had some success here in Champ Cars but I have never competed here in sports cars so I am really looking forward to this weekend. We had a good test here before the season and have a strong baseline coming in. My best finish here was second, and a win at this track has always been one of my goals. We were strong out of the box at Mid-Ohio and have been improving every race. We are aiming for the front this weekend."

Diaz on Past Success at Road America: "For me, one of the favorite races of my career was at Elkhart Lake when I won here in Atlantics [2002]. That was the only time that I have raced here but I really like this track. We tested at Elkhart last October and this track is great to drive in these cars. It is also a great track for the fans. It is very family oriented. I feel really confident going into the weekend. It is a longer race for us at four hours and if we play things smart, I know we will challenge for the podium again."

-credit: fernandezracing.net

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