Fernández Named One of Mexico's Most Influential
List of 300 Includes Business, Political, Sports and Cultural Leaders
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Aug. 8, 2006) - Adrián Fernández is more than just a race car driver. And now a national magazine in his native Mexico has once again acknowledged his popularity, naming him one of the 300 most influential people in the country.
The July issue of Lideres Mexicanos placed Fernández on an accomplished list of his fellow countrymen, joining leaders in numerous categories including science, culture, media, entertainment, sports, politics, public opinion and business. It is the fourth time Fernández has been part of this elite list, having been selected in 2001, 2002 and 2005.
Fernández is one of six athletes on the list of 300 which includes golf standout Lorena Ochoa, Oakland A's pitcher Esteban Antonio Loaiza, and soccer stars Francisco 'Kikín' Fonseca, Rafael Márquez and Oswaldo Javier Sánchez.
President Elect of Mexico Felipe de Jesús Calderón, exiting President Vicente Fox, prominent business leaders the Slim family [Telmex] and José Antonio Fernández [Tecate], and actress Salma Hayek are included on the wide-ranging roster.
"This is quite an honor," said Fernandez, who will handle double driving duties this weekend competing in the No. 57 Lowe's Chevrolet at the Watkins Glen Busch Series race on August 12 in addition to his full time ride in the Lowe's Fernandez Racing No. 12 Pontiac Riley in the Grand American Road Racing Series on August 11 also at Watkins Glen.
"I have always been proud of my country and strive to represent my country well in all of my racing and business dealings. There are a lot of people on that list who I know and respect, and to be included with them is something for which I continue to be extremely humbled and grateful."
Fernandez is a self-made man whose rise to a 12-year career at the top levels of open-wheel racing attracted the allegiance of fans around the world. In 2000, Fernandez acted on his business acumen and began carrying the dual moniker of owner/driver, branching out to the team ownership ranks in partnership with motorsports veteran Tom Anderson. Fernandez Racing currently fields a two-car team in the IndyCar Series with Scott Sharp and Kosuke Matsuura as drivers.
In the last two years, Fernandez has expanded his horizons, competing in selected NASCAR Busch Series races and forming Lowe's Fernandez Racing which competes in the Rolex Sports Car Series.
"There are a lot of people who have helped me in my career over the years, and I will never forget the support of Tecate, Quaker State and Telmex who were with me in my early years and throughout most of my open-wheel career," added Fernandez. "I am extremely proud to represent Lowe's and to be able to take this next step in my career in sports car racing."
A sporting icon in his homeland, Fernandez has been credited with helping to return top-level open-wheel racing to his native country, and for opening the doors to Mexican drivers outside the country's borders. In the United States, Fernandez has been widely recognized for expanding the Hispanic fan base in auto racing.
Fernandez began motocross racing at the age of eight in Mexico. He raced open-wheel cars in Mexico and Europe before joining the CART series in 1993 posting eight career victories and 21 podium finishes through the 2003 season. In 2004, Fernandez joined the IndyCar Series, where he won three races including two of the final three events.
He has received numerous awards during his career including "Athlete of the Year", "Driver of the Year" and fourth "Best Athlete of the Century" in Mexico. He was nominated for Mexico's National Sports Award -- the 2004 Premio Nacional del Deporte -- for his career achievements in auto racing and recognized at the Premios Fox Sports Awards for his contributions to Latin American auto racing.
Lideres Mexicanos [www.lideresmexicanos.com], a Mexican magazine published 11 times a year, profiles Mexican industrialists, artists, politicians, leaders of opinion, sportsmen and outstanding people in any social scope.
-credit: fernandez racing