Fernandez Finishes Fifth in Texas and Fifth in Championship Adrian Fernandez ended his first season of IRL IndyCarÂ® Series competition with a fifth-place run in the Chevy 500 season finale at Texas Motor Speedway, and a fifth-place ranking in...
Fernandez Finishes Fifth in Texas and Fifth in Championship
Adrian Fernandez ended his first season of IRL IndyCar® Series competition with a fifth-place run in the Chevy 500 season finale at Texas Motor Speedway, and a fifth-place ranking in the series' championship. Fernandez started 10th today and was leading at the halfway mark of the 200-lap race. He looked poised for a third consecutive victory, but had to settle for a top-five result -- his sixth of the season.
Fernandez ends the season with three wins, including a run of four top-two finishes in the last six races, a seventh-place finish in the Indianapolis 500 and 12 top-10 results.
Adrian Fernandez, #5 Quaker State/Telmex/Tecate Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone:
"This was another strong showing for Fernandez Racing. I am very happy with our results today. At one stage we thought we had the car, but towards the end some cars improved. Ours was not as strong as at the beginning, and we lost that little edge that we had. Regardless, it was a fantastic race, a fantastic season and just a dream year for us. I am very happy for Kosuke Matsuura who won Rookie of the Year. It has been a fantastic year, especially after what happened at the beginning of the year when we started very late [in the IRL] and had no pre-season testing. We came from the back, so finishing fifth in the championship was a great achievement for our team. I am so proud of everyone. Now we know what to expect for next year, and we are going to test hard and get ready."
FAST FACTS: Has won the three of the last six IndyCar Series events, claiming victory at California, Chicagoland and Kentucky Speedways-- added a second-place result at Pikes Peak International Raceway on August 22-- this was his second career start at Texas Motor Speedway and his 15th IRL IndyCar Series start-- started ninth and finished fifth at Texas in June-- enters his 12th season of major open-wheel competition-- is the only Mexican driver to compete on a full-time basis in the IndyCar Series-- seven of his 11 major open-wheel wins have been on ovals (Fontana 2004/1999, Chicagoland 2004, Kentucky 2004, Rio 2000, Japan 1998/1999)-- has made 79 career oval starts to date, claiming 43 top-10 finishes (54%)-- major open-wheel career record includes 193 starts with 103 top-10 results (53%) and 46 top-five finishes (23%)-- 41 years old from Mexico City-- currently resides in Paradise Valley, Arizona.
Tom Anderson, Co-Owner/Managing Director:
"The #5 Quaker State/Telmex/Tecate team had an excellent run for the last six races of the season. It goes back to the test day that we had before the Kentucky race. Things seem to turn around from there. I think John Ward, Chris Finch [race engineers] and John Dick [technical director] all did a tremendous job getting the package underneath Adrian that he was demanding from the start of the season. Unfortunately, we couldn't deliver it early, but our learning curve accelerated quite a bit in the last part of the season. As for Adrian, you can't fault perfect driving. It was a magnificent job by Adrian this year with fifth in the championship and three wins, equaling any other driver in the series for wins this year. We couldn't quite give him what he needed today. It looks like we may have given a little to the other chassis manufacturers today based on the results. I want to congratulate Honda for their magnificent performance and all of the wins as well as everything they did for us this year. We really appreciate it. For Firestone, it was another perfect season. It is hard to improve upon perfection year after year, but somehow Firestone seems to get it done."