AdriÃ¡n FernÃ¡ndez, Owner/Driver -- ...
Adrián Fernández, Owner/Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:
Started: 13th Finished: 18th Contact
"I have to see the replay, but going into the first turn everyone was really bunched up. I had already passed Mario Dominguez, and [Townsend] Bell basically opened the door. I went to the inside and I think I touched Michel [Jourdain]. At the same time, we were so bunched up that any little thing could have caused this to happen. It's a shame. It's our first DNF [did not finish] of the year, but we are looking forward to putting it back together for Portland. This is just racing. On this type of track, where it is so difficult to pass, you just have to try to make up as many positions as you can at the beginning. Unfortunately, this time it didn't work."
FAST FACTS: This was his 150th Champ Car career start and 10th Champ Car appearance at Laguna Seca-- only owner/driver in current Champ Car field-- tied for fourth among active drivers in career wins with seven-- is ranked 10th in CART all-time career starts-- has scored 11 podium finishes in 90 career road/street course starts-- three of his seven Champ Car career wins were on road/street circuits -- Australia (2000), Mid-Ohio (1998) and Toronto (1996).
Shinji Nakano, Driver -- #52 Alpine/Mitsuba Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:
Started: 18th Finished: 14th
"It was a difficult day and actually a very difficult weekend for me. I had a lot of problems with the car the past two days. We just couldn't find a good setup. I had a big understeer during the race. It was bad and the car was really difficult to drive."
FAST FACTS: This is his 42nd career Champ Car start and third Champ Car appearance at Laguna Seca-- is in his third season of Champ Car competition, and second year with Fernandez Racing-- has 25 career road/street course starts, with two top-10 finishes at Toronto (2001) and Houston (2000).
Tom Anderson, Co-Owner/Managing Director:
"Obviously contact is part of motorsports and unfortunately we got caught up in it today with Adrian's car. It's very disappointing not to make it through to the end. The guys all worked really hard and I think Adrian and Don had a pretty good race setup, so it was going to be an interesting day. On Shinji's side, we never really came to total grips with the track. We struggled with the handling most of the weekend, and did so in the race. The guys had really good pit stops and I was pleased with their performance and with our fuel strategy. All in all, it was probably the 52 side's best weekend mechanically. Although we had some problems early in the weekend, I was really pleased with what the guys did and thought the team put on a pretty good race. Fortunately, this time of year, you don't have to sit around and think about it too long because we race next weekend at Portland."
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