Birmingham: Fernandez Racing race report

Lowe's Fernandez Racing Takes Fifth at Birmingham Rolex Series 250 Adrian Fernandez and Mario Haberfeld drove the ...

Lowe's Fernandez Racing Takes Fifth at Birmingham Rolex Series 250

Adrian Fernandez and Mario Haberfeld drove the #12 Lowe's Fernandez Racing Pontiac Riley to a fifth-place finish at today's Grand American Rolex Series 250 at Barber Motorsports Park just outside Birmingham, Ala.

Haberfeld started from the inside of the fifth row and drove a clean opening stint as the Lowe's Fernandez team employed a one-stop strategy during today's 97 laps of racing over the 2.3-mile, 16-turn road circuit. He was in the lead when he pitted under green on Lap 61 and handed the car over to Fernandez for a sprint to the finish. Fernandez resumed in 13th and steadily made his way back toward the front, passing the final two cars on the final lap for a fifth-place finish. It was the first-year team's third top-five finish in the last five main events on the heels of its victory in the qualifying race at Phoenix. It scored its maiden race win two events ago at Mid-Ohio.

The series heads to Watkins Glen, N.Y., for a Friday-night race on Aug. 11. It'll share the weekend spotlight with the NASCAR Busch and Nextel Cup Series competitors at The Glen, where Fernandez will also drive the #57 Lowe's-sponsored Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in Saturday's Busch race.

Adrian Fernandez: "Overall, it should be a day we can feel proud of. The Lowe's car was definitely strong, as we were thinking it would be all weekend. Unfortunately, our strategy didn't quite work out. But we came out ahead of the others who chose the same strategy, and we were able to beat some of the others who didn't. We were faster than everybody in practice this morning on a very wet track. And it looked for sure like there was rain coming about an hour into our race this afternoon, which would have been extremely good for us. But it never happened. Still, for us to get a top-five finish when our strategy didn't work in our favor is something to feel good about."

Mario Haberfeld: "I think we did the right thing regardless of the weather. Our car was very strong, as it turned out, and it kept getting better as the race went along. The only thing is our one pit stop came under green. But in the long run Adrian was able to make up for a good part of what we lost there. We are definitely looking forward to Watkins Glen. We had a good car there the last time (in June), and I think we should be even better this time."

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Mario Haberfeld , Adrian Fernandez
Teams Hendrick Motorsports