Lowe's Fernandez Racing 11th at Long Beach The No. 12 Lowe's Fernandez Racing Pontiac Riley finished 11th in today's Grand American Challenge on the city streets of Long Beach, California. In the 90-minute race, the Daytona Prototype driven by...
Lowe's Fernandez Racing 11th at Long Beach
The No. 12 Lowe's Fernandez Racing Pontiac Riley finished 11th in today's Grand American Challenge on the city streets of Long Beach, California. In the 90-minute race, the Daytona Prototype driven by Adrian Fernandez and Mario Haberfeld survived three on-track encounters but persevered to finish in the top half of the field. Haberfeld assumed the initial driving duties starting the race in fourth, but fell to seventh when another car squeezed the Lowe's Pontiac in one of the opening corners. Haberfeld's day got worse when a tire from a three-car incident hit the nose of the Lowe's machine. As the Lowe's crew repaired the damaged nose, Fernandez assumed the driving duties. He returned to the track in 18th position and climbed to ninth before another car spun and blocked the track forcing Fernandez into light contact. After pulling from the incident, Fernandez drove the Lowe's machine home to an 11th-place finish. The duo of Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz won their second race of the 2006 season. The next race is April 23 at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Virginia.
Adrian Fernandez: "It wasn't the way we wanted to represent Lowe's today. We didn't have a lot of luck. We had a tough start and Mario lost some positions when he was squeezed out. Then there was the big accident and a wheel flew off and hit Mario in the left front. The car was pretty damaged. Fortunately, we didn't lose a lap. I got in and started pushing hard at the end, making a lot of passes. We were just going forward all the time. The car felt good. It probably wasn't a car to win the race but probably good enough for a podium finish. I was making a pass and going around on the outside and another car had spun and I had nowhere to go. We need to start getting out front and staying out front. We need to concentrate on getting the car to the front so we can avoid all of this. We go to Virginia International Raceway next race and I think we will be better. We improved our qualifying this weekend and I think we had a pretty good car for the race. We think we will show even more improvement at VIR."
Mario Haberfeld: "'It was a tough start. I thought Grand Am would penalize the car that jumped up next to me on the start because he shouldn't have been there. That cost us a few spots. Several laps later that accident right in front of me was pretty scary. There were parts everywhere and a wheel came off and landed on the nose of the Lowe's car. I thought our day was done because it was almost impossible to drive. They made repairs and I turned the car over to Adrian to finish the race. It was frustrating today because we think we had a pretty good car. Because of bad luck, we didn't even get a chance to show how good we were."