Fernandez fourth fastest in opening night at Milwaukee Top Practice Times 1. Michael Jourdain 21.040 176.578 mph 2. Paul Tracy 21.075 176.285 mph 3. Patrick Carpentier 21.146 175.693 mph 4. Adrian Fernandez 21.155 175.618...
Fernandez fourth fastest in opening night at Milwaukee
Top Practice Times 1. Michael Jourdain 21.040 176.578 mph 2. Paul Tracy 21.075 176.285 mph 3. Patrick Carpentier 21.146 175.693 mph 4. Adrian Fernandez 21.155 175.618 mph
Adrian Fernandez, Owner/Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:
"We improved the car this evening. The car felt better, a little tighter, and we managed to balance the push I was having this afternoon. It was definitely an improvement. Like a lot of people, we were trying to put in a good time in case it rains tomorrow. At the end, I had some traffic and needed another lap. The car is definitely better. I don't know how it is compared to everyone else on full tanks because you don't know what everyone is running. We'll see tomorrow. The car is at least more drivable and we are in a better position. We are just a tenth from the pole and that's not bad. We were a lot further this morning. I'm happy.
"The changes here at the Milwaukee Mile are beautiful -- the grandstands, the lighting. The facility is fantastic. I didn't have any problems at night with the lighting. I was a little cautious on cold tires obviously because the tires are cold sitting here when there is no sun to warm them up. I was a little bit careful coming up to speed. The tires were very consistent and it seems like we can do a lot of laps which is going to be key for the race. Everything is working well and I think the race at night is going to be very exciting. Hopefully we will have a car that can take us all the way to the checkered flag in a very good position."
FAST FACTS: Will be making his 11th Champ Car start at Milwaukee and his 166th Champ Car career start... claimed career best short-oval results at Milwaukee last year, starting on pole and finishing second... recorded two top-five finishes in five rounds of 2003 competition to date -- second at Long Beach and fourth in Monterrey, Mexico... currently sits seventh in the championship standings with 29 points... has qualified seventh or better in four of five races to date, claiming his best starting position of third in St. Petersburg... has finished over half (52%) of his 63 Champ Car career oval starts in the top 10... enters his 11th season of Champ Car competition with seven career wins and three pole positions... 38 years old from Mexico City... formed Fernandez Racing in the fall of 2000 with Tom Anderson... only competing owner/driver in the series... is the third most-winning driver in the current Champ Car field... ranked 11th in CART all-time career starts... has 20 Champ Car career podiums to his credit... last win was at Australia in 2000... last pole position was at Milwaukee in 2002... looking for his first win as an owner/driver... the last win by an owner/driver was in 1992 when Bobby Rahal won at Nazareth.
Gustavo del Campo, Team Manager:
"It was a very good day for CART. This is a very nice facility and it is impressive the work that they did here with the stands and the lights. We had very good weather today and Adrian and David [Watson, race engineer] worked on the setup and we are there. We will see tomorrow what will happen because it sounds like it will be raining tomorrow in the afternoon. We tried our qualifying setup and I think we are okay."