IRL: Fontana: Fernandez Racing qualifying report

Fernandez to Start Fifth at California Speedway Adrian Fernandez recorded his best starting position at California Speedway this afternoon. Fernandez, whose previous best qualifying effort was 13th on the two-mile oval, qualified fifth for ...

Fernandez to Start Fifth at California Speedway

Adrian Fernandez recorded his best starting position at California Speedway this afternoon. Fernandez, whose previous best qualifying effort was 13th on the two-mile oval, qualified fifth for Sunday's Toyota Indy 400.

Fernandez rebounded from problems in the practice session preceding MBNA Pole Qualifying where he turned only two laps due to a gearbox problem. Fernandez was the fastest driver of the Honda-powered contingent.

Tomorrow's 200-lap race, the second to last round of 2004 IRL IndyCar Series competition, will mark Fernandez's sixth start on the two-mile oval. Fernandez was victorious at California Speedway in 1999, and in five previous starts, has only failed to finish out of the top five once.

Fernandez, who has won two IndyCar Series events to date in his debut season, will be looking to add to his tally of three top-two finishes in the past four events. He currently sits one point out of fifth and 14 points out of fourth in the championship standings.

Adrian Fernandez, #5 Quaker State/Telmex/Tecate Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone:

"Conditions were tough today in qualifying. It was very windy. We didn't get any laps in this morning in the practice because we had a gearbox problem. For qualifying, it was very windy and the car was very loose. We didn't have a chance to try anything this morning, so I'm happy with where we are for tomorrow."

FAST FACTS: Will be making his sixth start at California Speedway and his 14th IRL IndyCar Series start... won at California Speedway in 1999, and has finished in the top five in four of five starts-- claimed two wins and a second-place finish in three of the last four IRL events -- 1st at Kentucky Speedway [August 15], 1st at Chicagoland Speedway [September 12] and 2nd at Pikes Peak International Raceway [August 22]-- currently sits sixth in the championship standings, one point out of fifth place and 14 points out of fourth-- has scored eight top-10 finishes in 13 IndyCar Series starts-- last competed at California Speedway in 2001-- enters his 12th season of major open-wheel competition-- is the only competing owner/driver in the IndyCar Series field and the only Mexican driver to compete on a full-time basis in the IndyCar Series-- six of his 10 major open-wheel wins have been on ovals (Chicagoland 2004, Kentucky 2004, Rio 2000, Fontana 1999, Japan 1998/1999)-- has made 77 career oval starts to date, claiming 41 top-10 finishes (53%)-- major open-wheel career record includes 191 starts with 101 top-10 results (53%) and 44 top-five finishes (23%)-- 41 years old from Mexico City-- currently resides in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

-fr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez