Watkins Glen II: Fernandez Racing race report

Early Retirement for Lowe's Fernandez Racing at Watkins Glen Friday night's Grand American Rolex Series race at Watkins Glen International came to an early end for the ...

Early Retirement for Lowe's Fernandez Racing at Watkins Glen

Friday night's Grand American Rolex Series race at Watkins Glen International came to an early end for the #12 Lowe's Fernandez Racing Pontiac Riley duo of Adrian Fernandez and Mario Haberfeld as their car was spun from behind on a Lap 8 restart, then sustained terminal rear suspension damage when hit in the right rear by another competitor.

Haberfeld, who qualified the Lowe's Racing machine fifth on Thursday afternoon, was running fifth on the Lap 8 restart when Colin Braun stuck the nose of his #76 Krohn Racing entry just underneath Haberfeld heading into Turn One on this legendary 2.45-mile road circuit and spun him around. The #19 car of Michael McDowell, further back in the order, could not avoid hitting the spinning Lowe's car and both sustained heavy damage. For causing the incident, Braun and the #76 team were assessed a two-minute penalty in the pit lane after the race went back to green.

The season concludes with back-to-back weekends out west beginning at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. (Aug. 26) and the brand new Miller Motorsports Park outside Salt Lake City (Sept. 2). Meanwhile, Fernandez's weekend continues today with 11 a.m. EDT NASCAR Busch Series qualifying in the #57 Lowe's-sponsored Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, carried live by SPEED-TV. The Busch series race is set for 2 p.m. EDT with a live broadcast set for NBC-TV.

Adrian Fernandez: "It's always a disappointment when you have to call it a day and it wasn't even your fault. I feel bad for everybody because we had a good car all weekend. I feel bad for Mario because he did an excellent job in practice and qualifying the Lowe's car in the top-five. That's really all there is to say."

Mario Haberfeld: "We were looking forward to a good finish because, after only about two or three green (flag) laps, the Lowe's car was handling very well. We were running with the leaders and I was just focusing on our strategy of staying with the leaders and then going for the win at the end with Adrian in the car. Unfortunately, a little inexperience by the driver behind me caused a lot of damage to us and the 19 car by putting us out of the race. He got penalized for what he did, but we are still the ones who are out of the race. This is the third time this year we've been spun from behind. It was a shame at Phoenix because we would have finished on the podium, and I believe we definitely had a podium car here tonight. At least we continue to prove we can run with anybody and hopefully we will have a good car again and actually benefit from it at the last two races."

-credit: fernandezracing.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Mario Haberfeld , Adrian Fernandez , Colin Braun , Michael McDowell
Teams Hendrick Motorsports , Krohn Racing