Adrian Fernandez "The car was good this morning and this afternoon in the rain. Shinji and I were running one-two in the wet, and then it started to get dry. I didn't think I could learn anything more so we stopped early. The important thing was...
"The car was good this morning and this afternoon in the rain. Shinji and I were running one-two in the wet, and then it started to get dry. I didn't think I could learn anything more so we stopped early. The important thing was that when the track was wet, the car was pretty good. There is a lot of mud on the track right now from the construction going on around here, and it feels bumpier than last year. It is very difficult when you are behind someone because you get a mud coating on your helmet and it is very difficult to see. That could be a problem if it rains on race day."
FAST FACTS: Is the only owner/driver in the current CART field....will be making his 142nd career Champ Car start in Houston ....his best road/street course start in 2001 was second at Cleveland....his best road/street course finish this year was third at Toronto and Elkhart Lake....his best oval start in 2001 was third at Chicago....best oval finish to date this season was fifth at Milwaukee....recorded his last win at the 2000 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:
Morning Session (dry): 15th Fastest 62.155 = 88.443 mph Afternoon Session (wet): 1st Fastest 72.499 = 75.824 mph
"The track conditions were definitely different from this morning to this afternoon. I think my car was pretty good in dry conditions as well. We had a little problem this morning, but basically the car felt pretty good. I didn't have any major problems with the car. I just had to drive and I was fast at the same time, which was good. This is what I wanted. I didn't really push a lot in the wet conditions. My engineer, Martin ParÃ©, gave me a good car and I like the track as well. For tomorrow, it doesn't really matter if it is wet or dry. I'll just do my best."
FAST FACTS: Will be making his 34th career Champ Car start in Houston....his best road/street course start in 2001 was ninth at Detroit....his best road/street course finish this year was ninth in Toronto....his best oval qualifying in 2001 was fifth at Texas....best oval finish to date this season was eighth in Motegi....is in his sophomore season of Champ Car competition with four 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.
Tom Anderson, Owner/Team Manager:
"It was a very good day for us in both sessions, the dry and the wet. Adrian and Shinji both ran well here last year. Adrian is very motivated being in basically a hometown of Mexico here. We also have a large group of sponsors attending, so it is a very important weekend. We are looking forward to a very competitive race on Sunday. Hopefully, for the spectators and the promoter, it will be dry and we'll look for a good result this weekend."