Fernandez Qualifies Sixth for 88th Indianapolis 500 Adrian Fernandez, ...
Fernandez Qualifies Sixth for 88th Indianapolis 500
Adrian Fernandez, #5 Quaker State/Telmex/Tecate Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone:
"It has been a great month for us so far and I am happy to have both our cars in the top nine. I'm a little disappointed we didn't have more speed at the end of the day. We were so fast this morning that actually we went longer on the gears for the car and we went too long. For some reason we were not generating the speed we were generating this morning. We waved off that run and we changed the gears back again. We made our second run and I was flat out through the whole run. I just didn't find any more speed for some reason. My car was very well balanced throughout the whole run but there wasn't any more speed. A little bit of a mystery but at the end of the day I am happy. The car has been good and consistent every time we have gone out on the track. A good run for Kosuke [Matsuura] also, so we are looking good for the race."
FAST FACTS: Has made two IRL IndyCar Series career starts (Phoenix and Japan)-- last competed in the Indianapolis 500 in 1995, and was credited with 21st place after retiring with an engine problem-- made one additional start at Indianapolis in 1994, but a cut tire resulted in suspension damage and Fernandez was unable to finish-- best qualifying position at Indianapolis was 25th in 1995-- enters his 12th season of major open-wheel competition-- has 66 career oval starts to his credit, posting 31 top-10 finishes and eight podiums-- four of his eight major open-wheel wins have been on ovals (Rio 2000, Fontana 1999, Japan 1998/1999)-- last victory was in June of 2003 at Portland -- his first as an owner/driver-- 41 years old from Mexico City-- currently resides in Paradise Valley, Arizona.
Tom Anderson, Co-Owner/Managing Director:
"All in all the changing weather conditions probably affected us a little more today than it should have. Given the situation, obviously I am happy with a sixth-place starting position for Adrian. We can certainly win the Indy 500 from there. Adrian has the experience to be able to do that so I am very confident going into the race. We all would have liked to have qualified a little better, but I think Honda did a tremendous job for this race with the first two rows all Honda's and we are glad to be part of their success. Firestone did a great job in making tires that work not only in the hot weather as we had early in the week, but the cold weather we had today. Adrian did a good job today and I'm very pleased and looking forward to the race."