AdriÃ¡n FernÃ¡ndez, Owner/Driver -- ...
Adrián Fernández, Owner/Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:
Fernández Looks to Move Up One Position on the Podium This Weekend
· Will be making his 150th Champ Car career start at Laguna Seca
· Finished second at Milwaukee last weekend, and is currently tied for sixth in the championship
· Has made nine Champ Car appearances at Laguna Seca
· Best finish at Laguna Seca was fifth in 1999; best starting position at Laguna Seca was sixth in 1998
· Started 17th last year and finished 10th
· Has finished in the top 10 in five of nine starts at Laguna Seca
· Has finished over half (56%) of his 43 career road course starts in the top 10
· Career-best finish on a road course is a win at Mid-Ohio in 1998; best career start on a road course was pole position at the 2002 Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix in Monterrey, Mexico
On Laguna Seca: "I am excited to go to Laguna, especially after the results in Milwaukee. Hopefully we can maintain those results this weekend. I like this track. In the past, it has been difficult to pass so it is very, very important to qualify well, and finish the job on Sunday with a strong run and good pit stops like we had this past weekend. We are working towards the championship and I feel very positive. During our Road America test, even though there were no other teams there, I felt we had a good car. Road America is a little bit different than Laguna Seca, but hopefully what we learned will benefit us in Laguna."
FAST FACTS: Only owner/driver in current Champ Car field^ÅTied for fourth among active drivers in career wins with seven^Å is ranked 10th in CART all-time career starts^Å has scored 11 podium finishes in 89 career road/street course starts^Å three of his seven Champ Car career wins were on road/street circuits ^Ö Australia (2000), Mid-Ohio (1998) and Toronto (1996).
Shinji Nakano, Driver -- #52 Alpine/Mitsuba Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:
Nakano Carries Milwaukee Momentum to Laguna
· Started sixth at Milwaukee last weekend, and was running in third before retiring with a mechanical problem
· Will be making his third Champ Car start at Laguna Seca
· Started 20th last year but retired with an electrical problem on Lap 41 and was credited with 21st place
· Finished 26th in 2000, retiring with an engine problem on Lap 45 after starting 22nd
· Has 12 career road course starts to his credit, posting his best finish of 11th at Portland in 2000
On Laguna Seca: "I like this track very much, and it is a very beautiful part of the world. The weather should be nice this time of year. We tested at Laguna Seca during Sneak Preview before the start of the season. We were still struggling at that point to find a setup for a quick time. Since then we have improved the car a lot. We tested at Road America last month, and I have a good feeling for the road courses as well. Milwaukee was a good weekend for us except for the [mechanical] problem I had during the race. Adrian did a nice job and finished second, and the motivation in the team is high. The wind is blowing in our direction a little bit more, fortunately, and I hope it will blow in my direction this weekend."
FAST FACTS: Will be making his 42nd career Champ Car start....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 24 career road/street course starts, with two top-10 finishes at Toronto (2001) and Houston (2000).
Fernandez Racing Team News:
No Operation for Fernández: Adrián Fernández received some good news regarding his right shoulder. Fernández had been experiencing pain, specifically in the rotator cuff, which flared up significantly at the conclusion of this year's Monterrey event and required a post-race visit to CART Medical. He has been doing intensive rehabilitation over the past two months with Brett Fischer, a noted physical therapist, athletic trainer and strength-conditioning specialist based in Phoenix. The results of his recent MRI showed that post-season surgery should not be necessary.
"This [shoulder pain] was basically the result of accidents that I have had over the years," said Fernández. "Brett has helped me tremendously with his experience and expertise and I pleased to say that at this point, with the progress we have made, I shouldn't require an operation, which looked liked a must after the Monterrey race."
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