AdriÃ¡n FernÃ¡ndez, Owner/Driver -- ...
Adrián Fernández, Owner/Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:
"It was a very interesting qualifying session. There were some red flags at the beginning and we couldn't put in a good time. The car was very good this morning, and we were in the top 10 all session. It was just a matter of getting a gap and getting my braking points and everything right. It was one of those things today where it took time to get your rhythm, especially when there was so much traffic and with the red flags. I had to put 100 percent concentration so I wouldn't make a mistake. I was getting quicker every lap, but it was hard because I did six or seven [qualifying] laps in a row. I just had to push, push, push, and our laps were getting better and better. I think we should be in good shape for tomorrow. Shinji also did a good job and I'm happy for him. I'm pretty happy with the way the team is getting better and better. Now we just have to prove it tomorrow."
FAST FACTS: Will be making his 10th Champ Car start at Long Beach-- competed in first career Champ Car race at Long Beach in 1993-- best Champ Car finish at Long Beach was fourth in 1998 and 1999-- best Champ Car starting position at Long Beach was third in 1998-- only owner/driver in current Champ Car field--tied for fourth among active drivers in career wins with seven-- will be making his 147th career Champ Car start-- ranked 13th in CART career starts-- currently sits 12th in the championship-- has recorded points-paying finishes in over half (58%) of his 45 career street course starts-- two of his seven Champ Car career wins were on temporary street circuits, Toronto (1996) and Australia (2000).
Shinji Nakano, #52 Alpine/Mitsuba Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:
"The car was pretty good for qualifying. We improved it a lot from yesterday. Unfortunately, the last red flag was on my best lap. The good news is that we found a good setup for the car. This is our second race with our new [equipment] package, so this is a good start for the rest of the season. We have a good car and I am looking forward to the race tomorrow."
FAST FACTS: Will be making his second Champ Car start at Long Beach-- missed the 2000 Long Beach race due to injuries sustained in a testing accident at Milwaukee-- scored the team's first championship point at Long Beach in 2001, finishing 12th after starting 23rd-- will be making his 39th career Champ Car start-- is in his third season of Champ Car competition, and second year with Fernandez Racing-- currently sits 15th in the championship-- has 11 career street course starts to his credit, posting top finishes at Toronto (ninth in 2001) and Houston (eighth in 2000).
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