Fernandez Racing Marlboro 500 presented by Toyota CART FedEx Championship Series -- Round 21 California Speedway -- Fontana, California -- November 2 - 4 2.029-Mile Oval Adrian Fernandez, Owner/Driver -- ...
Marlboro 500 presented by Toyota
CART FedEx Championship Series -- Round 21
California Speedway -- Fontana, California -- November 2 - 4
Adrian Fernandez, Owner/Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex
"We were having a great race. It was excellent. This was one of the best cars I have had at a superspeedway. I could run high and I could run low. We were balancing well throughout the whole race. Basically we were just waiting for the end to shoot for the final laps. I was feeling pretty confident. As I accelerated on the restart, I lost it. Most likely it was cold tires and I'm 99 percent sure it was my mistake, but I still want to double check because it could have been the driveshaft or something. I'm almost certain it was my mistake. It was a shame. We were doing a good job and it could have been a good race for us especially after such a frustrating year. It proves that we can run at the front, and it was nice to be back there."
John Ward, Chief Engineer/Race Engineer -- Fernandez:
"Adrian was really complimentary on the car. We had a good, competitive car. He could run pretty much where he wanted to on the race track. We're not sure exactly what happened that caused us to hit the wall on the restart, but we'll investigate and find out. I think we had a good, legitimate shot at it today. We were in a reasonable position on fuel mileage and we may have been able to use more fuel, more power. I think the nine cars in front of us would have had to run leaner than us. If it would have gone green the rest of the way, we might have had a good shot at it. It was a good car just no good luck today."
Shinji Nakano, #52 Avex/Alpine Honda/Reynard/Firestone:
"At the beginning of the race I had a loose car. I was struggling with oversteer the first part of the race. After the first pit stop, we adjusted the downforce level and tire pressures and the car was much better. After that I was just cruising, saving fuel and saving the engine. We just couldn't make it. It's a shame because I had a really good car. I was the fastest in the warm up on full tanks and I had a really good race car. I just want to thank the team for all they did this year and this race. They gave me a good car and it's a shame I couldn't get the result. I just want to thank them for everything."
Tom Anderson, Owner/Team Manager:
"If I honestly look back at the season and reflect on how well the team performed this weekend, I would have to say that I am extremely proud of our team. We came to Fontana at the conclusion of our first year and both cars were extremely competitive. We had some mechanical problems throughout the weekend but that didn't get anybody down, and both cars were competitive all day. We were sitting in comfortable positions and trying not to over stress things when both our guys had problems of different sorts. We didn't change tires the last couple of stops with Adrian and that allowed us to put some more fuel in and make some positions. We were quite comfortable to go with the Firestone tires those extra stops and extra distances had we needed to. All in all at the conclusion of the first season, I thought Fernandez Racing was in a position to win the race with both our cars and that's what it was all about for us today."