Adrian Fernandez Returns for Indy 500 Run TORRANCE, Calif. (March 22, 2005) -- A three-race Indy Racing League winner in 2004, popular veteran Adrian Fernandez Tuesday announced plans to return to IndyCar Series competition for the 89th...
Adrian Fernandez Returns for Indy 500 Run
TORRANCE, Calif. (March 22, 2005) -- A three-race Indy Racing League winner in 2004, popular veteran Adrian Fernandez Tuesday announced plans to return to IndyCar Series competition for the 89th running of the Indianapolis 500, driving a Honda-powered Panoz chassis to be entered by Mo Nunn Fernandez Racing.
Investment Properties of America is the primary sponsor for the team, which will be run by veteran team owner/engineer Morris Nunn. The effort for Fernandez will be run in partnership with the full-time IRL teams of Super Aguri Fernandez Racing, with 2004 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year Kosuke Matsuura, and Delphi Fernandez Racing, with 2002 Indy pole winner Scott Sharp.
"I am more than ready to get back in the saddle," said Fernandez, who has been focusing on his role as an IndyCar Series team owner thus far in 2005. "This is a great opportunity to be able to partner with Morris, who I have known and respected for a long time, and put together a competitive program with Honda and with the support of Investment Properties of America.
Fernandez, 41, of Mexico City, boasts an extensive resume at the top levels of open-wheel competition that includes 194 career starts, 11 wins and 25 podium finishes. He began carrying the dual title of owner/driver in 2001, when he teamed with motorsports veteran Tom Anderson to launch Fernandez Racing. The team has grown to include Super Aguri Fernandez Racing and Delphi Fernandez Racing, both of which compete in the IndyCar Series with drivers Sharp and Matsuura.
"This team will be run alongside Super Aguri Fernandez Racing and Delphi Fernandez Racing, and I am really looking forward to working with both Kosuke [Matsuura] and Scott [Sharp] as teammates. Kosuke and I were incredibly strong throughout the month of May last year, and Scott has already proven he knows how to win and did a great job in Phoenix this past weekend [finishing fifth]. One of my goals has always been to win the Indianapolis 500 -- as a driver or as an owner -- and between the three of us, I think that goal can be reached this May.
In 2004, Fernandez won three of the final six IndyCar races [Kentucky, Chicagoland and Fontana]. Fernandez finished fifth in the championship on the heels of six top-five and 12 top-10 finishes.
"We are very pleased to welcome Adrian back for the Indianapolis 500," said Robert Clarke, Vice President and General Manager of Honda Performance Development. "He was a big part of our first IRL Championship season last year, and his addition to our Indianapolis lineup greatly strengthens our efforts to repeat at the '500' as well."
Additional Honda-powered entries are expected to be announced prior to the May 10 start of official practice for the Memorial Day weekend classic, which will run on May 29.