Adrian Fernandez, Owner/Driver -- ...
Adrian Fernandez, Owner/Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Reynard/Firestone:
Qualified: 6th 20.059 169.779 mph
"I am very pleased with both qualifying runs. It was a big improvement for Shinji, and a big improvement for myself. The practice before qualifying didn't help us unfortunately. We had a little mechanical problem and a red flag, and I couldn't run my stickers properly. That would have given us more insight into how we wanted the car. We guessed for the push that we had in the morning, and we guessed right. The car was perfect. Unfortunately the gears were a little bit short, and I was hitting the rev limiter hard in fifth. On the second lap, the valve blew because I was hitting the rev limiter so I just decided to come in. The car was well-balanced, and I am pretty pleased with the lap that I did."
FAST FACTS: Will be making his 128th career Champ Car start...has seven career Champ Car wins...is coming off a career-best season with a second-place finish in the championship...only owner/driver in the current CART field...recorded last Champ Car win four races ago in Australia...led the series in both laps and miles completed in 2000, en route to recording 17 points-paying finishes...fifth most-winning driver in the current CART field.
Shinji Nakano, #52 Avex/Alpine Honda/Reynard/Firestone:
Qualified: 19th 20.455 166.492 mph
"For qualifying my car was the best it has been this weekend. It has been getting better and better and better every session. This is my first time here at this track and I am still learning, but I think I could have pushed a little bit harder and got another two to three tenths. At least we found a good setup and I have a good car for Sunday. Tomorrow will be another learning experience and I need to finish the race. This is important for me and for the team as well."
FAST FACTS: Will be making his 20th career Champ Car start...is in his sophomore season of Champ Car competition with a pair of 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:
"I'm extremely pleased with the day. I think that Shinji and Adrian both are very comfortable with the cars. They weren't on the knife-edge today, so I feel like both cars are capable of sustaining their balance throughout the race tomorrow given the weather conditions. With the heat and humidity yesterday compared to the coolness today, I think the engineers made the correct decision and I feel pretty confident about going in there tomorrow."