Phoenix: Fernandez Racing qualifying report

Lowe's Fernandez Racing on the Pole for Phoenix Gainsco Grand Prix The Lowe's Fernandez Racing Pontiac Riley will start Saturday night's Grand American Rolex Series Gainsco Grand Prix from the pole position after Adrian Fernandez led all 20 laps...

Lowe's Fernandez Racing on the Pole for Phoenix Gainsco Grand Prix

The Lowe's Fernandez Racing Pontiac Riley will start Saturday night's Grand American Rolex Series Gainsco Grand Prix from the pole position after Adrian Fernandez led all 20 laps of Friday night's qualifying race on the 1.51-mile road circuit at Phoenix International Raceway.

Fernandez, who lives in nearby Scottsdale and scored his first-ever U.S. victory in Indy Lights competition on this very track in 1992, started the 30-minute qualifying race from the pole by virtue of his clocking the fastest lap in the No. 12 Lowe's Fernandez Racing Pontiac Riley during the afternoon 60-minute practice session. He got off to a clean start in the qualifying race and maintained a comfortable lead over fellow front-row starter Scott Pruett throughout. He crossed the finish line almost a half-second ahead of runner-up Pruett.

Co-driver Mario Haberfeld will start Saturday night's 2-hour, 45-minute main event and hand the car over to Fernandez during the mandatory driver change. Race time is 7 p.m. local time (10 p.m. EDT). SPEED-TV's tape-delayed race coverage is set for Sunday at 3 p.m. EDT.

Adrian Fernandez: "It was a very short race but it gives us an indication of what things are going to be like in terms of setup for tomorrow night. The most important thing to do was to learn the braking points and the reference points on the track. We tested here, which was a very good thing to do, but racing is a different situation and it was good to learn all of those various things we will need to know for tomorrow night. This is the first milestone for the Lowe's Racing program after some frustrating moments during the early part of the season. We had several times where we should have come away with a top-five or top-six finish but didn't. It's a nice feeling to do what we did tonight. Hopefully, we can repeat tomorrow. It's going to be a longer race and much more difficult, but we know we have a good car."

Mario Haberfeld: "Starting from the pole tomorrow should make everything much better for us. There were many times this year when we had a good car but we had to start from the back, and that is where you always have a much greater chance of something happening to you. It was good that we came here to test because the conditions this weekend haven't been the greatest with the heat and the slippery track. Everyone has done a great job all year long, and this is at least a small reward for their hard work. Hopefully, tomorrow night, we can get the big reward."

-fr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Mario Haberfeld , Adrian Fernandez , Scott Pruett