Adrian Fernandez, Owner/Driver -- ...
Adrian Fernandez, Owner/Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Reynard/Firestone:
* Will be making his ninth Champ Car appearance at Laguna Seca Raceway
* Has recorded seven points-paying finishes in eight starts
* Best finish was fifth in 1999
* Best starting position was sixth in 1998
* Finished 12th last year after starting 17th
On Laguna Seca: "I like the Laguna Seca circuit and the atmosphere there, and both Carmel and Monterey rank among my favorite places. They are very unique. I didn't have the best weekend at Laguna last year. We didn't qualify well and the car wasn't where it needed to be in terms of handling during the race. I am confident that we can find a good setup for this weekend. Unfortunately, until something is done about the qualifying rules, we will be qualifying in the first group which won't help us because passing can be difficult at this track. We won't have the benefits that come with qualifying in the second group.
"I am looking forward to having a normal weekend for a change. I haven't had one of those in awhile. We had some bad luck in Europe which carried through to Houston when Shinji was hit from behind and, in turn, hit me. Although we both finished, that was really the end of our chances at a good result. I hope we have a better race this weekend, and better fortune on our side."
FAST FACTS: Is the only owner/driver in the current CART field ... will be making his 143rd career Champ Car start at Laguna Seca ... 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 Laguna Seca Raceway
* Qualified 22nd last year and was credited with 26th place after retiring with a mechanical problem on Lap 45
On Laguna Seca: "This is a challenging track with the elevation changes and the combination of slow and fast corners. I like the track. It is an interesting circuit. The setup of the car is very important. You need to find a well-balanced car. I did not finish the race last year because we had a mechanical problem. We are looking for more than that this weekend.
"I think this is one of the best tracks for fans to come to watch a race. The Monterey area is also a beautiful part of the country. I enjoy coming to this race."
FAST FACTS: Will be making his 35th career Champ Car start at Laguna Seca ... 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.