VANCOUVER, B. C., CANADA - SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2000 - Round 15 of the 2000 FedEx Championship Series - Patrick Racing's Adrian Fernandez finished third and Roberto Moreno tenth at the Molson Indy Vancouver on the temporary street circuit in ...
VANCOUVER, B. C., CANADA - SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2000 - Round 15 of the 2000 FedEx Championship Series - Patrick Racing's Adrian Fernandez finished third and Roberto Moreno tenth at the Molson Indy Vancouver on the temporary street circuit in Vancouver, B. C., Canada.
The outstanding performance kept both drivers in the top five in the FedEx Championship Series standings and narrowed the gap between them and the top spot. Fernandez moves from fourth to third in the championship race. He now has 117 points and is just nine out of first place. Moreno drops to fifth place, his lowest standing of the season. However, his 115 points put him just 11 out of first. Moreno entered the race in second place, but was 13 points out of first.
This is the seventh time this year that Patrick Racing has had both drivers finish a race in the top-10. Today's result also continues Patrick Racings season long record of consistency and dominance. They remain the only team to have both drivers in the top nine in the points let alone the top five. Combining the statistics of both Fernandez and Moreno, Patrick Racing has finished more races than any other team and is first in points, prize money and laps and miles completed. They are tied for third in wins, third in laps led and tied for fourth in poles.
Fernandez, driving the #40 Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth, started 15th and drove a patient, smart race. He got outstanding pit work from the Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing crew and, as usual, brilliant race strategy. The team pitted on a very early yellow putting them out of sequence and allowing them to stay out longer then other competitors. This gave them an opportunity to pick up valuable track time and position. Throw in a bit of luck, like getting a yellow flag precisely when you need it before the second pit stop, and what you have is another podium finish for the hottest driver in the series.
"This was a fantastic race for the Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing team.
Basically, the race was the same as we have been doing for the last couple of months. We were patient and then when we needed to push we pushed. We stayed cool and didn't make any mistakes. We managed to keep the car on the track, which was difficult, and not hit anything. The Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing team did a fantastic job in the pits and preparing the car. We also made all the right calls on pit and fuel strategy. I would not be in the position I am today without the Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing team," Fernandez said.
"I knew I had to be patient during the race. We saved fuel and were able to stay out late. Plus the Firestone tires came in very well. They were consistent and durable, so I was able to do two stints, 51 laps on one set of tires and save some time in the pits. Even though we were saving fuel I was still able to run fast, consistent laps and stay with the leaders. We weren't the fastest, but we were the most consistent," Fernandez noted. "We just have to keep doing what we have been. Just be consistent, finish races and score points. We need to qualify better. We also probably need to win one or two races and the championship will be there," concluded Fernandez.
The third place finish for Fernandez is his best at Vancouver. It is also his second consecutive podium finish. The 35-year-old Mexican has placed in the top five in four of his last six races and in the top six in all six. Fernandez has scored points in 12 of his last 13 starts. The Paradise Valley, Arizona resident has finished 12 of 15 races this year (the most of any driver) each time in the points. He has 11 top-10 showings including six top five finishes with four podiums performances.
Moreno, in the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth, started tenth and ran a very consistent race. He was never lower than 13th and never higher than tenth. The Visteon/Patrick Racing team went a more conservative route than the Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing team in terms of pit and race strategy because they were already running in the top ten. The strategy allowed them to hold their position in the field and pick up valuable points. With the Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth not as strong as some of the other cars, and it so difficult to pass on the challenging Vancouver street circuit the low risk strategy was the surest way to guarantee points for the championship.
Moreno, who also had a career best finish at Vancouver, dropped out of the top three in the points for the first time since the third race of the season. The 41-year-old Brazilian, who led the point's race for the first time in his CART career for almost a month earlier this year, still remains within easy striking distance of the points lead. Moreno has finished 11 of 15 races, each time in the points with 10- top-10 showings including six top five finishes and four podium showings.