CHAMPCAR/CART: Fernandez Racing Cleveland pre-race notes

Fernandez Racing Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland presented by Firstar CART FedEx Championship Series -- Round 9 Burke Lakefront Airport -- Cleveland, Ohio -- June 29 -- July 1 Broadcast: Sunday, July 1 -- ABC Live 1:00 pm ET Circuit:...

Fernandez Racing
Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland presented by Firstar
CART FedEx Championship Series -- Round 9
Burke Lakefront Airport -- Cleveland, Ohio -- June 29 -- July 1

Broadcast: Sunday, July 1 -- ABC Live 1:00 pm ET

Circuit: 2.106-mile Temporary Road Course

Adrian Fernandez, Owner/Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Reynard/Firestone:

* Will be making his eighth Champ Car appearance at Cleveland

* Has claimed points-paying finishes in five of seven starts at Cleveland

* Recorded best finish of fifth in 1998; best starting position was sixth in 1996

* Finished seventh last year after starting ninth

On Cleveland: "Cleveland is a very exciting circuit and a great track for the fans. I am happy that we are racing there. It's very wide and there are a lot of passing opportunities. On the other hand, it is difficult because it is so wide and flat, and you don't have very clear references. It is also very bumpy and the car jumps hard. It is all about mechanical grip here, and setup is very important. John [Ward, chief engineer and race engineer for Fernandez] gave me a great car last year, so hopefully we can come up with something good again this weekend."

FAST FACTS: Is the only owner/driver in the current CART field... will be making his 133rd career Champ Car start at Cleveland...his best road/street course start in 2001 was 15th at Detroit...his best oval start in 2001 was sixth at Nazareth... best finish to date this season was fifth at Milwaukee...his best road/street course finish this year was 12th at Detroit...recorded his last podium finish nine races ago when he won the Honda Indy 300 in Australia...has seven career Champ Car wins...finished second in the championship last season... fifth most-winning driver in the current CART field.

Shinji Nakano, #52 Avex/Alpine Honda/Reynard/Firestone:

* Will be making his second Champ Car appearance at Cleveland

* Started 21st last year, but retired on Lap 82 with transmission problems and was credited with 15th place

On Cleveland: "The Cleveland track is something special. When I went there for the first time last year, I thought 'What is this?' Driving on an airport is a strange feeling, but it is a very interesting track. There are no reference points, so it is very difficult to find your braking spots. It is also very bumpy. It's a challenge to find a good car because it is not a normal circuit. Now I know the track, and I have good feeling for this weekend."

FAST FACTS: Will be making his 25th career Champ Car start at Cleveland...his best road/street course start in 2001 was ninth at Detroit...his best oval qualifying in 2001 was fifth at Texas...best finish to date this season was eighth in Motegi...his best road/street course finish this year was 12th in Long Beach... is in his sophomore season of Champ Car competition with three top-10 finishes to his credit...has the benefit of a teammate for the first time in his CART career...hails from Formula One with 33 F1 starts and nine top-10 finishes in two years of competition.

-FR-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Shinji Nakano