CHAMPCAR/CART: Milwaukee: Fern?ndez Racing qualifying report

Saturday Qualifying Adrián Fernández continued his dominant performance at The Milwaukee Mile, posting a best lap of 22.176 seconds (167.532 mph) to put the ...

Saturday Qualifying

Adrián Fernández continued his dominant performance at The Milwaukee Mile, posting a best lap of 22.176 seconds (167.532 mph) to put the #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Lola/Bridgestone at the top in today's qualifying for the Miller Lite 250. This is the third Champ Car career pole position for Fernández, who will be making his 149th career Champ Car start when the green flag drops tomorrow.

Shinji Nakano's qualifying lap of 22.383 seconds (165.983 mph) places the #52 Alpine/Mitsuba Honda/Lola/Bridgestone in sixth position on the grid -- Nakano's best qualifying effort to date in Champ Car competition.

Adrián Fernández, Owner/Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:

"I am very proud of what the team has done and not just with me but with Shinji as well. Shinji had a small problem on the car this morning so he didn't have much time to recover, but they did a great job in a short time. The car stepped out on me for the first time all weekend during qualifying. It was really hard to do that second lap because the car was very loose. It was good enough to get the pole and it was one of the most satisfying poles because it was the hardest lap that I have done here since we tested. I was very happy to obtain the pole under those circumstances. At one point I thought everything was over and I was going to end up in the wall. The pole was really a reward for the effort of the whole team through the entire month of May and, hopefully, we can keep the momentum from now and carry it through the rest of the season."

FAST FACTS: Will be making his 10th Champ Car start at Milwaukee...best finish at Milwaukee was fifth in 1999 and 2001...best starting position at Milwaukee previously was ninth in 1995...best career start on a one-mile oval prior to today was third at Chicago in 2001...only owner/driver in current Champ Car field...tied for fourth among active drivers in career wins with seven... will be making his 149th career Champ Car start which will rank Fernández 10th in CART all-time career starts... has recorded points-paying finishes in over half of this 59 career oval starts... four of his seven Champ Car career wins were on ovals ^Ö Japan (1998/1999), Rio (2000) and Fontana (1999).

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

"We had a little problem with the car at the beginning of the session this morning. The track temperature went up by 20 degrees or so this afternoon and the wind direction changed also. The car went a little bit loose during qualifying, but my first lap was pretty good. The second lap was a bit much and I had to lift. We made a big improvement and that's important. We had to go forward and we did it, which is good news for tomorrow."

FAST FACTS: Will be making his third Champ Car start at Milwaukee, and 41st career Champ Car start...started 16th last year after the grid was set by championship points due to rain, and finished 16th... has five career one-mile starts to his credit, posting his best finish at Nazareth in 2001... is in his third season of Champ Car competition, and second year with Fernández Racing... currently sits 17th in the championship with four points... has 16 career oval starts, recording three top-10 finishes at Japan (2001/2002) and Homestead (2000).

Don Halliday, Co-Owner/Technical Director/Race Engineer ^Ö Fernández:

"After Adrian's first timed lap, I was surprised that he did a second timed lap as well. It reminded me of [Juan Pablo] Montoya in St. Louis when he was loose out of Turn Two. Here we had the same deal with Adrian where he recovers and has enough confidence and feel for the car. I think he did a great job. Obviously we think he would have been a lot quicker if he didn't have that little "oopsy". Looking at the data, he may have got on it a little hard a little soon, but he recovered and that's excellent. This is the best team qualifying result to date. We are building and that's good."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Shinji Nakano