Laguna Seca: Fernandez Racing preview

Lowe's Fernandez Racing Heads to ALMS Season Finale Lowe's Fernandez Racing will conclude its second season of American Le Mans Series competition this weekend with the Monterey Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Team ...

Lowe's Fernandez Racing Heads to ALMS Season Finale

Lowe's Fernandez Racing will conclude its second season of American Le Mans Series competition this weekend with the Monterey Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Team drivers Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz have turned many a lap around the hillside circuit, combining for a total of 23 career starts.

The pair will be looking to end the season on a high note and better their ALMS debut at Laguna Seca last year which netted a third-place finish for the team. Despite a strong start to the season with their new Acura ARX-01b, Fernandez and Diaz have encountered a series of misfortune in the closing stages. Following a second-place class finish at Mosport three races ago, the duo has been sidelined by contact in the last two events at Detroit and Road Atlanta.

In 22 career ALMS starts to date, Fernandez and Diaz have claimed five podiums and 10 top-five results alongside seven top-three starting positions. Close on a number of occasions, the team is still chasing its elusive first win in the series. With a large contingent of guests on hand this weekend from Lowe's, and Acura in pursuit of the chassis and engine manufacturer championship titles, Fernandez and Diaz -- a former winner at Laguna Seca in Grand-Am competition -- will be mounting a charge for the top step on the podium this Saturday.

Of Note:

* Fernandez will be making his 15th career start at Laguna Seca [Indy Lights in 1992, 11 Champ Car starts from 1993 - 2003, one Grand-Am race in 2006 and the ALMS last season]

* Fernandez has finished half of his career starts at Laguna Seca in the top 10, claiming his best result of third last season in ALMS competition

* Diaz will be making his eighth career start at Laguna Seca [Indy Lights in 2000 and 2001, Atlantics in 2002 and 2003, Grand-Am in 2005 and 2006, and the ALMS last year]

* Diaz, who made his US racing debut at Laguna Seca, has three podiums to his credit -- third place last year in ALMS competition, a win in the 2005 Grand-Am race and a third-place finish in 2001 Indy Lights competition

* Three DNF's [did not finish] in the last four races place Fernandez and Diaz seventh in the championship standings with the opportunity to only advance as high as sixth in the final rankings

Adrian Fernandez, #15 Lowe's Acura ARX: "I would be lying if I said this hasn't been a frustrating season. We have had some strong runs and a few shots at wins but our races at Elkhart Lake, Detroit and Road Atlanta really knocked us out of contention in the points. These are tracks that we thought we would do really well at and we just didn't have the opportunity to show it. Hopefully we can pull a rabbit out of our hat this weekend. This is a track that Luis and I know well and it is definitely one of my favorites. We had a fantastic race and battle for the front here last year, and it would be great to end the year with a win for Lowe's and Acura."

Luis Diaz, #15 Lowe's Acura ARX: "I love racing at Laguna Seca -- the track, the fans and the beautiful cities like Carmel and Monterey. It is a great event and I am confident we will have a strong run there again this year. After the last few races, we are due for some luck. It is a long race at four hours so a lot can happen but hopefully we can stay out of trouble. I know if we can make it to the end, we will bring home a good result to end the year."

-credit: fr

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Series ALMS
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Luis Diaz