Adrian Fernandez, Owner/Driver -- ...
Adrian Fernandez, Owner/Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Reynard/Firestone:
* Will be making his fourth appearance at Houston
* Has recorded points-paying finishes at Houston the past three years
* Best finish was sixth in 1998
* Best starting position was 10th in 1999
* Finished seventh last year after starting 16th
On Houston: "I have had a lot of support from the fans in Houston over the years which is always nice. I also have a lot of friends there. When I was a little kid, I was in an exchange program to learn English. I would stay with a family in Houston for a month and their child would stay with my family in Mexico. I always enjoy going to Houston.
"This will be a busy weekend for us. Most of my sponsors -- Tecate, Quaker State and Telmex -- are coming this weekend. I am really looking forward to finishing this race. Unfortunately, we have had a few engine problems recently that haven't let us earn any points. Hopefully our time will come at Houston."
On the break in the schedule following the European races: "I was only home for two days after England. I went to the race shop in Indianapolis to meet with Tom [Anderson] and the team, and then went with Tom to the [Formula One] Grand Prix. It was great to see a lot of friends, including my friend Jo Ramirez, the team manager for McLaren. There was a big retirement party for him that Thursday night, and I was very happy that McLaren won as this was his last race.
"Right now I am taking a two-day PADI course in scuba diving. I want to do some diving at the Great Barrier Reef when we go to Australia. Other than that, I have been working out, catching up on things -- it takes a few days to get back on schedule after a long trip -- and getting ready for Houston."
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:
* Will be making his second appearance at Houston
* Finished eighth last year in Houston after starting 18th
On Houston: "I like Houston, both the circuit and the city. My best race last year was at Houston, so I have good memories from there and a good feeling about this weekend. Houston is a street circuit, so you need to find a setup which gives you good traction and braking stability. Those are the most important things."
On the break in the schedule following the European races: "I went to Japan from Europe to visit with my sponsors, so I have been pretty busy this past week. I arrived back in Indianapolis on Saturday, and have had a few days at home before the trip to Houston."
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.