David Reininger - Motorsport News International Fontana, Calif. (October 30, 1998) - Adrian Fernandez set the fastest speed of the day in this morning's session with a lap at 236.564 mph. Fernandez set his fastest lap on his 33rd tour of the 2...
David Reininger - Motorsport News International
Fontana, Calif. (October 30, 1998) - Adrian Fernandez set the fastest speed of the day in this morning's session with a lap at 236.564 mph. Fernandez set his fastest lap on his 33rd tour of the 2 mile track this morning. On that lap, Fernandez's start-finish line trap speed was nearly five mph slower than the top speed recorded at the same spot by Scott Pruett. Pruett's start finish line trap speed of 244.183 mph was the fastest recorded anywhere on the track in this morning's session. Andre Ribeiro was clocked at the same point at 244.912 mph this afternoon.
Fernandez, unable to improve in this afternoon's session, was fast right off the transporter. "We started basically with the base we had at Michigan," said Fernandez, who sat on the pole at Michigan. "The car was working really well. We went through our normal process of dialing in the car to this track. This track is a little bit more bumpier and you have less bank, so we had to work a little bit on that. This afternoon we just were concentrating on something for the race, we weren't really looking for speed. So hopefully we will be fast." Fernandez's best in the afternoon session was 226.423 mph.
Second fastest today, and also setting his best lap this morning, was Canadian driver, Greg Moore. "We didn't test here at all," said Moore, "so we came here with the same set up that we had at Michigan. Last year we were able to use the same exact set up from Michigan to here at Fontana but people told me the track was a bit bumpier in one and two from last year. So we had to change our set up a little bit because of it. We've got a good set up. This afternoon we started scrubbing in tires for the race."
Michael Andretti, who practiced in the spare car this morning, found another two mile an hour when he went to the race car this afternoon. Fastest in this afternoon's session, Andretti's lap at 235.428 mph was good enough for third fastest of the day. "This morning we basically were working on the race set up and the car felt really good, said Andretti. "We had a little fire so we had to get in the race car in the afternoon, which was set up for qualifying."
Andretti looks forward to Sunday's Marlboro 500 but is quick to add that it may not look like CART's last superspeedway race, the U.S. 500 in Michigan. "It's still going to be a lot of passing," Andretti said. "The banking here is a little less so it doesn't allow you, quite as easy, to run side by side. But because you get such a tow from the car in front of you, you're going to still see a lot of passing. I think it's still going to be a very exciting race."