Adrian Fernandez, Owner/Driver -- ...
Adrian Fernandez, Owner/Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Reynard/Firestone:
* Will be making his seventh Champ Car appearance at Mid-Ohio
* Won the race in 1998, and has finished sixth or better in five of six outings
* Best starting position was fifth in 1998
* Started 12th last year and finished sixth
* Missed the 1999 race due to a broken right wrist from an accident during the Detroit race weekend
"Mid-Ohio is a race that I have always enjoyed. I had one of my best wins there in 1998 when we were one and two for Patrick Racing. I had a big challenge from my teammate at the time, Scott Pruett. It was a close race and very physical. For me, it was a very gratifying win. I have always done well at Mid-Ohio and it is a track that I truly enjoy. I love the fans there -- a lot of families. It's a very fan-oriented track. It is always fun to go there. Mid-Ohio was my home track when I was driving for Tasman Motorsports, which was based in Hilliard. It still feels like a 'home track' to me."
FAST FACTS: Is the only owner/driver in the current CART field... will be making his 137th career Champ Car start at Mid-Ohio...his best road/street course start in 2001 was second at Cleveland... his best road/street course finish this year was third at Toronto... his best oval start in 2001 was third at Chicago... best oval finish to date this season was fifth at Milwaukee...recorded his last win at the 2000 Honda Indy 300 in Australia...has seven career Champ Car wins...finished second in the championship last season... fifth most-winning driver in the current CART field.
Shinji Nakano, #52 Avex/Alpine Honda/Reynard/Firestone:
* Will be making his second Champ Car appearance at Mid-Ohio
* Started 20th last year but retired on Lap 59 after a spin and was credited with 19th place
"Mid-Ohio is an interesting circuit. You have to have a good car to be quick there and, with the undulations and blind corners, you need to have a lot of confidence going around the track. We just have to work like normal to get a good car. It is very easy to have understeer at this track. Passing is a challenge so qualifying is important. Physically, it is a very tough track. There is no time to rest. Day by day the track conditions are going to get better, and the track will have a lot of grip by Sunday so the steering gets heavier and heavier. Also the temperatures can be quite high. It's a nice track with a lot of challenges."
FAST FACTS: Will be making his 29th career Champ Car start at Mid-Ohio...his best road/street course start in 2001 was ninth at Detroit... his best road/street course finish this year was ninth in Toronto... his best oval qualifying in 2001 was fifth at Texas...best oval finish to date this season was eighth in Motegi...is in his sophomore season of Champ Car competition with four top-10 finishes to his credit...has the benefit of a teammate for the first time in his CART career...hails from Formula One with 33 F1 starts and nine top-10 finishes in two years of competition.