Adrian Fernandez, Owner/Driver -- ...
Adrian Fernandez, Owner/Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:
Started: 6th Finished: 13th
"I'm very happy for Shinji and very disappointed for us. I'm not sure yet what our problem was but I just had no brakes. The car was decent and we should have finished right there. One of these days we'll get there."
FAST FACTS: This was his third Champ Car start at Chicago and his 152nd Champ Car career start-- missed the inaugural race at Chicago in 1999 due to a broken right wrist from a race practice accident at Detroit-- best starting position at Chicago was third last year -- best finish at Chicago was fifth in 2000--only owner/driver in current Champ Car field--tied for fourth among active drivers in career wins with seven-- is ranked 10th in CART all-time career starts-- four of his seven Champ Car career wins were on ovals -- Rio (2000), Japan (1999/1998) and Fontana (1999).
Shinji Nakano, Driver -- #52 Alpine/Mitsuba Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:
Started: 16th Finished: 5th [Career best Champ Car finish]
"Today was good -- no mistakes and no trouble. The team did a great job today, and a great job in finding a better setup from Saturday. We were really struggling with the setup yesterday, and my engineer [Martin Pare] worked so hard to find a better setup for the race. I started second to last, but the car was really awesome and we were able to get a good finish. We have been struggling a lot since the beginning of the season. We had a lot of mechanical and setup problems. The past few races, the problems have been getting smaller and smaller. This finish is great for the team and I am happy."
FAST FACTS: This was his third Champ Car start at Chicago and 44th career Champ Car start-- previous career best finishes were eighth at Motegi (2001) , Homestead (2000) and Houston (2000) -- is in his third season of Champ Car competition, and second year with Fernandez Racing.
Tom Anderson, Owner/Managing Director:
"On the #51 side with Adrian, we knocked off a brake nipple on the rear caliper. We had built some guards, but obviously they weren't high enough because it was able to be bent over and got into that bleed nipple. It was a design problem back at the shop that we need to work on with no fault intended on the guy who was working on it. We thought we had those things bulletproof, and obviously we didn't. Unfortunately we took Adrian out of a good position today as he and Don did a great job in getting the car running well. Basically we took him out with that incident. We'll go back and fix it before Toronto.
"On Shinji's side, a great day. You can't say enough. The guy drove fantastic all day, and the Alpine/Mitsuba crew did a fantastic job on their four stops. It was, all in all, a great day and shows that Fernandez Racing is a team on the move."