CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Herdez names Dominguez as 2002 driver

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MEXICO CITY and INDIANAPOLIS (December 6, 2001) -- Team Herdez today announced that Mario Dominguez will be assuming driving duties in the No. 16 Ford-Cosworth Lola for the 2002 season of the CART FedEx Championship Series. A native of Mexico ...

MEXICO CITY and INDIANAPOLIS (December 6, 2001) -- Team Herdez today announced that Mario Dominguez will be assuming driving duties in the No. 16 Ford-Cosworth Lola for the 2002 season of the CART FedEx Championship Series.

A native of Mexico City, Dominguez, 26, has an extensive background in open-wheel racing. He started in go-karts in 1987 and won multiple championships and races as he climbed the open-wheel ladder.

Dominguez, a former champion with the Herdez Competition Team in the Mexican Formula 3 series, has been an integral part of the Herdez Viva Mexico program since 1996 when he first began carrying Herdez sponsorship on his cars in the Mexican Formula 3 and Formula 3000 championships. In 2001, Mario finished fourth in the Dayton Indy Lights series in his third year.

Dominguez tested for the Herdez team in November of 2000. Negotiations to step up to the big league with Grupo Herdez and Team Herdez commenced a few months ago and an agreement was reached shortly before the first off-season test at Sebring International Raceway on November 28 and 29. With this announcement, Herdez Viva Mexico continues its philosophy of giving support and opportunities to promising young Mexican drivers.

Dominguez expressed delight and gratitude for being tapped to step into the Champ Car seat. "I still can't believe it! I have put in a lot of hard work over the years and struggled to prove myself and now, finally, this opportunity has come. I definitely think that the test I did in 2000 was key for me in getting the ride for next year. I'm very, very happy to be continuing my relationship with Herdez and to be joining Team Herdez. I think it's a wonderful team that will give me all of the necessary tools to be competitive in the CART FedEx series next year."

Dominguez continued, "I want to express my thanks to Enrique Hernandez Pons (CEO of Grupo Herdez), Keith Wiggins (Managing Director of Team Herdez), and the whole Team Herdez organization for their support."

Managing director Keith Wiggins is encouraged by Mario's early testing results and his potential for success. "We were impressed by Mario when we first tested him last year and believe that he's earned this opportunity. We've now completed the first test in preparation for the 2002 season and we were once again pleased with the speed, competence, and technical feedback that he displayed. He worked very well with the team and we are all excited to get started on the 2002 season."

A press conference will be held at the 2001 Mexican Auto Show on December 13th at the World Trade Center Mexico.

#16#

MARIO DOMINGUEZ
No. 16 Team Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola

Birth Date: December 1, 1975
Residence: Mexico City, Mexico
Marital Status: Single
Team: Team Herdez
Owners: Enrique Hernandez Pons
Hector Hernandez Pons
Keith Wiggins
Merle Bettenhausen
Russ Breeden
Jack Rodgers

Primary Sponsor: Grupo Herdez
Chief Engineer: Tom Brown
Team Manager: Bryan Lambert
Crew Chief: Vince Kremer
Engine: Ford-Cosworth XF
Chassis: Lola
Champ Car Starts: 0 (Rookie)
Champ Car Wins: 0 (Rookie)
Champ Car Poles: 0 (Rookie)

Indy Lights Starts: 39
Indy Lights Wins: one (Miami 1999)
Indy Lights Poles: three (Miami 1999, Long Beach and Kansas City 2001)

Lights Highlights:
Won his series and oval debut in 1999 Dayton Tire Challenge at Homestead Motor Speedway.
Scored two pole positions in 2001.
Third in the 1999 Rookie of the Year standings.

OVERVIEW: In 2002, Mario Dominguez will begin his first season in the CART FedEx Championship Series with Team Herdez. In addition, Dominguez will be competing for the Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year award.

2001: Finished fourth in the Dayton Indy Lights championship with PacWest Lights in his third season of competition. Earned 120 points. Scored two pole positions. Finished on the podium three times. Garnered points in every round of the championship and was running at the finish in nine of 12 events. Set fastest race lap in Monterrey, Mexico.

2000: Eighth in his second year of Dayton Indy Lights competition as the senior driver for Team Mexico with 67 points. Scored points in 12 of 13 events. Scored his season's best finish of third at Milwaukee after qualifying fifth. Started 18th at Michigan but finished seventh to earn the Dayton "Move to the Front" Award.

1999: Eleventh in Dayton Indy Lights Championship points with 66. Third in the Rookie of the Year standings. Won from the pole in his series debut in the Dayton Tire Challenge at Homestead Motor Speedway, his first oval event. Charged from 17th to sixth at Long Beach in his second event of the season to earn the Dayton "Move to the Front" Award.

1998: Started two Indy Lights events (Vancouver and Laguna Seca), his first since 1992. Won the Mexican Formula 3 title with six victories and six poles.

1997: Finished third in the Mexican Formula 3000 championship, winning at Mexico City & Guadalajara.

1996: Finished third in the Mexican Formula 3000 series with one win at Zacatecas. Scored two wins in the Mexican Formula 3 championship before departing for the Formula 3000 series. Began his association with Grupo Herdez.

1995: Third in the Mexican Formula 3 championship with wins at Pachuca and Guadalajara. Also scored a victory at Guadalajara in a prototype sports car.

1994: Raced in Mexican Formula 3 Nissan series. Scored victories in Monterrey and Mexico City.

1993: Four starts in the Mexican Formula 3 series.

1992: Formula Russell Mazda Champion with nine wins in 12 races. One Indy Lights start at Laguna Seca.

OTHER RACING EXPERIENCE: Began racing in 1987 in go-karts, winning three championships and representing Mexico in the World Karting Championships in Spain (1989), Italy (1990), and France (1991).

- Team Herdez

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Series INDYCAR , INDYLIGHTS , KART , OPENWHEEL