IRL: Texas: Adrian Fernandez qualifying report

Fernandez Qualifies Ninth at Texas Adrian Fernandez will make his first career race start at Texas Motor Speedway from Row Five of the grid after qualifying the ...

Fernandez Qualifies Ninth at Texas

Adrian Fernandez will make his first career race start at Texas Motor Speedway from Row Five of the grid after qualifying the #5 Quaker State/Telmex/Tecate Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone in ninth position this evening for the Bombardier 500k. Saturday's 200-lap/300-mile race -- the first of three night races on the 2004 schedule -- will mark his fourth IRL IndyCar® Series start.

Weather: At the opening of practice (3:00 pm CT), 87F and mostly cloudy with winds out of the south at 17 mph and gusts up to 22 mph; temperatures hovered in the low-80s at the start of qualifying (8:45 pm CT), with winds out of the south at 20 mph.

Practice Recap: Fernandez was 15th in the first practice session with a best lap of 25.2162 207.724 mph; he improved to eighth-quickest in the second session with a lap of 25.0356209.222 mph, and was shown as ninth fastest overall -- only 0.1756 seconds off the fastest practice time set by fellow Honda driver Dario Franchitti.

Adrian Fernandez, #5 Quaker State/Telmex/Tecate Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone:
"We had a good day today with Kosuke [Matsuura] fourth and myself in ninth. The grid is very tight, but I think we are in very good shape for the race. Obviously conditions are going to be very different. That is something that myself and Kosuke have not experienced but, at the same time, we have good cars and I think that the experience that we gained through Indianapolis will help us to get a good race under our belts here."

FAST FACTS: Will be making his fourth IRL IndyCar Series start-- posted best IndyCar Series result to date in the Indianapolis 500 last month, qualifying sixth and finishing seventh-- first and only visit to Texas Motor Speedway was in 2001 where Fernandez qualified 12th for the CART race which was not run-- enters his 12th season of major open-wheel competition-- has 67 career oval starts to his credit, posting 32 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.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Dario Franchitti