CHAMPCAR/CART: Lexington: Fernandez Racing preview

Nakano and Papis ready for challenges of Mid-Ohio. With Adrian Fernandez continuing his rehabilitation from injuries suffered in a late-race crash on July 28 in Vancouver, Shinji Nakano and replacement driver Max Papis will lead Fernandez Racing...

Nakano and Papis ready for challenges of Mid-Ohio.

With Adrian Fernandez continuing his rehabilitation from injuries suffered in a late-race crash on July 28 in Vancouver, Shinji Nakano and replacement driver Max Papis will lead Fernandez Racing into Round 11 of the CART FedEx Championship Series on the challenging 13-turn permanent road course in Lexington, Ohio.

Nakano is coming off a string of five points-paying finishes, including two top-five drives. A costly mistake while running in eighth at Vancouver relegated Nakano to 11th position, but his confidence is high and the team has momentum on its side.

Papis made two visits to the podium earlier this year and is ready for a return. "Mad Max" has missed the past five races and is eager to step into the cockpit at Mid-Ohio - the site of his Champ Car career debut six years ago.

Max Papis, Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:

* Will be making his seventh Champ Car appearance at Mid-Ohio
* Best finishes at Mid-Ohio were fourth in 2000 and fifth in 1999
* Best starting position at Mid-Ohio was sixth in 2000
* Scored podium finishes (third) in two of five races contested this season
* Last race was the Bridgestone Grand Prix of Monterey on June 9
* Has missed the past five Champ Car races due to Sigma Autosport's withdrawal from the series

On Mid-Ohio: "Mid-Ohio is a very physical track. It is a track that demands a lot out of the driver and the car. It has been a long time since I have been in a car (June 9) so it is going to take a little time to adapt to this new situation. Mid-Ohio has a great fan base, and I am looking forward to going there and bringing home for Fernández Racing a very strong result and having a happy Sunday afternoon. I am pleased to join the team but I am not an albatross waiting for someone to get hurt. I am going to do my best for the team under these circumstances, and I'm just waiting for Adrián to come back and continue his job."

FAST FACTS: Will be making his 105th Champ Car career start-- made Champ Car career debut at Mid-Ohio in 1996 with Arciero-Wells Racing-- has three career wins - Homestead (2000), Portland (2001) and Laguna Seca (2001)-- claimed two career pole positions at Chicago (1999) and Portland (2001)-- finished sixth in the championship last year-- currently sits 16th in the championship with 32 points.

Shinji Nakano, Driver -- #52 Alpine/Mitsuba Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:

* Will be making his third Champ Car appearance at Mid-Ohio
* Finished 18th at Mid-Ohio last year after starting 23rd
* Started 20th in 1999 but spun on Lap 59 and was credited with 19th place
* Has posted points-paying finishes in the past five events, including a career-best fourth-place finish at Toronto

On Mid-Ohio: "I'm looking forward to Mid-Ohio. I like the track and I have confidence that we can have a good race there. The team has been working really hard on our road course setup, particularly after the problems we had in Cleveland where we struggled all weekend. Mid-Ohio is a very tough track physically. There is the heat and the humidity, and there is really no place on the track where you can rest. It is very challenging.

"Obviously we are disappointed that Adrian will not be at Mid-Ohio, but he needs to focus on getting back to 100 percent. Hopefully, Max and I can bring home a good result for him and the team this weekend."

FAST FACTS: Will be making his 48th career Champ Car start -- has made 15 career road course starts, claiming three points-paying finishes-- is in his third season of Champ Car competition, and second year with Fernandez Racing-- currently sits 15th in the championship with 33 points.

Fernandez Racing Team News:

Team Owner Calls Central Ohio Home
Fernandez Racing Co-Owner and Technical Director Don Halliday makes his home in the northern suburb of Powell, just 20 minutes from downtown Columbus. Powell is also the headquarters of Halliday Technologies, an automotive engineering consulting company founded by Halliday in 1994.

Halliday Technologies is a culmination of Halliday's passions where racing is used as a proving ground for new technologies. Breakthroughs such as the GEM (Grip Evaluation and Management) Device, which determines measurable levels of grip between individual tires and the road surface, are currently used by the Ohio Department of Transportation and the automotive industry.

The LEMS system (Liquid Environment Management System) patented by Halliday and Columbus-based Future Applied Science Technologies, Inc., accurately measures fluid levels in a moving container, such as fuel in a race car. Initially used in racing, the LEMS system is currently being tested in non-FAA regulated aircraft and has many other commercial applications.

Another technology originating from the motorsports arena is ADAMS (Advanced Diagnostic and Monitoring System), which has also been patented by Halliday and is an evolution of the GEM Device. In the petro chemical industry, ADAMS specifically measures a pump's function in terms of bearing load, vibration and temperatures resulting in better planned maintenance and warning of impending disaster with bearing failure.

Trackside
Max Papis will spend Wednesday, August 7, in Cleveland, Ohio, for a media day to help promote the Mid-Ohio race. On Thursday, Nakano will take part in Honda's Race Day at its Marysville, Ohio, plant. Fernandez Racing Co-Owner and Managing Director Tom Anderson will be involved in the CART Fan Forum trackside on Friday at 1:00 pm, and both Nakano and Papis will take part in Taste of CART on Friday evening - a gastronomic extravaganza where team chefs showcase their talents to benefit CARA Charities.

Fernandez Racing Team Stats
Since entering the CART FedEx Championship Series in 2001, Fernandez Racing, headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., has claimed two pole positions and three podiums, and has posted six top-five finishes and 16 top-10 finishes in 30 races contested to date. Fernandez, Anderson and Halliday own the team.

For more information, please visit www.fernandezracing.net. Additional information on Max Papis can be found at www.maxpapis.com. For additional information on the CART FedEx Championship Series, please visit www.cart.com.

-fr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Max Papis , Adrian Fernandez , Shinji Nakano , Tom Anderson
Teams DAMS