CHAMPCAR/CART: Fernandez Racing Portland race notes

Adrian Fernandez, Owner/Driver -- ...

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

Finished: 19th Qualified: 23rd

"It was tricky out there. It was very slippery and it was easy to make mistakes. I was trying at all times to be very patient and very smooth, but it wasn't easy just to stay on the track. I don't know how many times I spun. The first time, they tried pushing me but the engine didn't start and I couldn't save my lap there. After that, I spun again and I lost a lot. Someone hit me in the rear and I could feel that something happened with the car. Turning to the right was not as good as turning to the left. It was one of those races that if we could have finished on the leader lap, we would have been fine. It wasn't easy today and we made mistakes. In these races, you can't make mistakes. It was a long day but at the end I calmed down and said that I've got to learn something here and just drive the race. We don't practice too much in the rain, so we learned some things today. Now we just go to the next one."

John Ward, Chief Engineer/Race Engineer ^O Fernandez:

"We had a reasonably promising start to the race because we got a couple of breaks, but later on we didn't get the breaks. Somebody ran into us and knocked us off the road and we had a little trouble getting restarted again and lost some laps. In the end, I think he was running pretty good lap times. It was just an unfortunate day for us. I think we had a reasonable car but we just didn't have the luck today."

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

Finished: 22rd Qualified: 18th

"On the first lap I don't know what happened. I was hit from behind and spun in the first turn. I broke the rear wing end plate. I lost downforce and the car was so nervous to drive that I couldn't do anything. On the second restart, I hit Kenny [Brack] from behind. I spun so that was my fault and it's a shame. It was my fault. It was really difficult to stay on the track. I lost downforce completely on the back. I couldn't do anything. Finally I made a mistake and spun out. It was my fault and I'm sorry for the team. Now I have to change my mind and start thinking about the next one."

Tom Anderson, Owner/Team Manager:

"As we learned today, a 1550-pound race car with 800 horsepower and rain is not really a good combination. It's nice to be up front and run alone as Max [Papis] did today, and he did a good job. Starting in the back, Shinji got hit on the first lap and broke part of the wing off so he had a very loose car for the rest of the day. It was not a good situation and later he just couldn't hang on. If you know it is going to rain all day, part of the gamble is the setup because a rain setup is much softer than a normal dry setup. In hindsight, we probably should have softened the cars up quite a bit. I think Adrian and Shinji would have appreciated that. It doesn't stop people from running into you or spinning in front of you, but it might have made Adrian's day a little easier. So, lessons learned and on to Cleveland."

-Fernandez Racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Shinji Nakano , Tom Anderson