CHAMPCAR/CART: Chicago: Fernandez Racing Saturday qualifying report

Adrian Fernandez, Owner/Driver -- ...

Adrian Fernandez, Owner/Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:

Qualified: 6th 23.611 156.893 mph

"We had some problems with our primary car. We ran well this morning and were P1 for a long time, but there was definitely something wrong with the car in qualifying. As I was coming into my fast lap, I felt the car was just not accelerating. It was a drastic change. We decided to withdraw the primary car and qualify the backup. These races are usually not won from the back and you need a lot of luck. We didn't want to put ourselves in that position. I only did one lap in this car [the backup car] this morning because we had a fuel pressure problem. The guys worked hard to fix the problem and these laps in qualifying were really the first I did today in that car. I'm pretty pleased about that. The guys did a great job and it proves the team is really working well."

FAST FACTS: Will be making his third Champ Car start at Chicago-- missed the inaugural race 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-- will be making his 152nd Champ Car career start at Chicago, and is ranked 10th in CART all-time career starts-- currently sits 13th in the championship with 28 points-- 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:

Qualified: 16th 23.905 154.963 mph

"I had a really loose car in qualifying. The track was much more greasy than this morning with the increase in track temperature. It's a long race tomorrow, and we just have to work on a better setup."

FAST FACTS: Will be making his third Champ Car start at Chicago and 44th career Champ Car start-- started and finished 16th at Chicago last year-- posted career best oval finishes of eighth at Motegi (2001) and Homestead (2000)-- is in his third season of Champ Car competition, and second year with Fernandez Racing-- currently sits 19th in the championship with four points.

Tom Anderson, Owner/Managing Director:

"I think the day was one of never say never. The #51 crew did an outstanding job of having the backup car ready to go like that, and to be able to turn that time with virtually no practice. A big hats off to them. I think they did an incredible job. On the #52 side, we are only four-tenths of a second off the pole so the car is pretty close, but it is a very competitive grid and it's going to make for a very entertaining race tomorrow."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Shinji Nakano , Tom Anderson