CHAMPCAR/CART: Adri?n Fern?ndez sidelined for Mid-Ohio race

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (August 2, 2002) -- Fernández Racing Owner/Driver Adrián Fernández will not participate in Round 11 of the CART FedEx Championship Series, the CART Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio, on August 11 as he continues to recover from injuries...

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (August 2, 2002) -- Fernández Racing Owner/Driver Adrián Fernández will not participate in Round 11 of the CART FedEx Championship Series, the CART Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio, on August 11 as he continues to recover from injuries sustained in a multi-car late-race crash at the Molson Indy Vancouver on July 28. A replacement driver will be announced next week.

Fernández suffered two hairline fractures in his left pelvis and severe bruising on his right buttock, and has been undergoing rehabilitation therapy in Indianapolis with CART Chief Orthopedic Consultant Dr. Terry Trammell.

"Adrián is undergoing his therapy and making progress," said Trammell. "He is experiencing less pain and is less dependent on his crutches, and we are proceeding a day at a time. The plan is for him to go back home to Arizona on Saturday morning and continue his rehab with the instructions that he has gotten here thereafter. He is going to be too sore to drive at Mid-Ohio."

This is the second time that Fernández will be a spectator for the Mid-Ohio race, which he won in 1998. He missed the 1999 event due to a broken right wrist from an accident during practice for the Detroit race. Fernández will not travel to Lexington, Ohio, and will remain in Phoenix.

"It's unfortunate that I will not be at Mid-Ohio," said Fernández. "I am still in a lot of pain and I will abide by Dr. Trammell's recommendation. Now I am shooting to come back at Elkhart Lake. I am going to go home and continue my rehabilitation and put all the effort in so I can get back in the race car as soon as possible.

"I saw my car at the race shop on Wednesday and was very surprised. I have never seen something like that and feel very lucky to be alive. The nose of Bruno's [Junqueira] car basically hit my butt. There is a hole in the seat and the seat was compressed almost three inches into my body. Another few inches and I don't know what would have happened."

Fernández along with partners Tom Anderson and Don Halliday are currently looking at driver options for the Mid-Ohio race weekend.

"Obviously our first concerns are with Adrian, and we are thankful that his injuries are not more serious," said Anderson. "We look for him to hopefully be back in the seat at Road America depending upon Dr. Trammell and his progress in therapy. Right now we are investigating a replacement driver as we look forward to putting the Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex car on the grid at Mid-Ohio with the best possible representation for our sponsors. We will be doing our due diligence on that this week, and will make an announcement next week."

"We are very disappointed, since Adrián has done so well at Mid-Ohio in the past and really enjoys the circuit," added Halliday. "We have learned a lot with the car recently, which would have been put to good effect with Adrián at the wheel in Mid-Ohio. He won't be able to capitalize on that situation, but obviously what is important is that you can't drive these things at 90 percent health. You have to be 100 percent, especially this year where the races are very physically and mentally challenging.

"The impact [from the accident] was extremely large and basically cracked the side of the monocoque in back of the seatback bulkhead. Obviously, the way the cars are designed, particularly with the recent head restraint systems incorporated by CART, and Adrian's method of seating, which incorporates a Kevlar shell that he sits in, served to minimize his injuries. We are looking forward to Adrián getting back in the seat. He is upbeat and always very positive. He is working hard at his recovery and is a true professional."

For more information on Fernández Racing, please visit www.fernandezracing.net. For additional information on the CART FedEx Championship Series, please visit www.cart.com.

-fr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Tom Anderson
Teams ART Grand Prix