CHAMPCAR/CART: Patrick Racing Gold Coast preview

JACKSON, MI - - October 11, 2000 - - Patrick Racing will take its 2000 FedEx Championship Series title aspirations Down Under at the Honda Indy 300, October 13-15, on the temporary street circuit in Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia. With...

JACKSON, MI - - October 11, 2000 - - Patrick Racing will take its 2000 FedEx Championship Series title aspirations Down Under at the Honda Indy 300, October 13-15, on the temporary street circuit in Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia.

With just two races remaining in the season, Patrick Racing drivers Roberto Moreno, who is behind the wheel of the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth, and Adrian Fernandez, who pilots the #40 Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth, are both in the hunt for top spot in the FedEx Championship Series standings.

Moreno, who is competing in Australia for the first time, is third in the championship standings with 131 points. He is three points out of second place and 22 points behind series leader Gil de Ferran. The 41-year-old Brazilian, who has been among the points leaders all season, has finished in the top-10 in four of his last seven races and placed in the points six times. The Weston, Florida resident has finished 13 of 18 races this year, each time in the points with 11 top-10 showings including seven top five finishes and five podium appearances with one victory. Moreno is third in miles completed (3631.866), fourth in laps completed (2283) and fifth in laps led (138).

"The Visteon/Patrick Racing team has done a great job all year. We are still in the hunt for the championship, but we have our work cut out for us. We are going to have to finish very strong in both the remaining races and that means, at least in Australia, that we are going to have to qualify toward the front. The fact that I have not competed on either of the tracks we run on in the final two races will make things a little more difficult, especially for qualifying, but with the experience of the Visteon/Patrick Racing crew and some help from my teammate (Adrian Fernandez), we should be okay."

Fernandez, who extended his streak of points paying finishes to 11 with a seventh place showing two weeks ago in Houston, is tied for fourth with Michael Andretti in the FedEx Championship Series standings with 127 points. However, since Andretti has more victories he holds down the number four spot while Fernandez is listed as fifth. The 35-year-old Mexican is just seven points out of second place and 26 points out of first. He has placed in the top-10 in nine of his last 11 races while compiling six top-six finishes in his last nine races with four top five showings and three podiums. Fernandez has tallied points in 15 of his last 16 starts. He has finished 15 of 18 races this year (the most of any driver) each time in the points. Fernandez has 13 top-10 showings including six top-five finishes with four podium appearances and one win (Rio - tied for sixth). The Paradise Valley, Arizona resident is second in miles completed (3685.017), third in laps completed (2292) and tenth in laps led (73).

"The Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing team has been very consistent all season. We had some bad luck during the beginning of the season, but have come on strong to put ourselves in a position to challenge for the championship. We are probably going to have to win at least one of the two remaining races and we are going to have to get some help from the people in front of us to take the title, but with the way this season has gone...anything is possible."

This will be the seventh time Fernandez has raced on the streets of Surfers Paradise. In his six previous races his best qualifying position is fourth in 1994 and his best finish is third last year.

"I love coming to Surfers Paradise. This is the best race in the series as far as the promotion and excitement. I have had some good races here, especially the last two years. Hopefully, we can finish on the podium or even win the race this time around and make the championship fifth even tighter than it already is."

PATRICK RACING NOTES:

Patrick Racing One Of The Most Dominant Teams In FedEx Series:

After 18 of the 20 races in the 2000 FedEx Championship Series season, Patrick

Racing is the only team to have two drivers in the top five in the championship standings. Combining the statistics of both Moreno and Fernandez, Patrick

Racing has finished more races than any other team (28 of 36). They are first in top-10 (24) and top five (13) finishes, laps (4575) and miles (7316.883) completed. They are second in points (258), tied for second in podium appearances (9), fourth in laps led (211), tied for fourth in wins (2) and tied for fifth in poles (1).

Patrick Racing Crews Lead Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge:

The Patrick Racing crews are first and second in the Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge. Fernandez' Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing crew has clinched the No. 1 seed for the Challenge finals with 154 points. The finals, which will feature the top five teams in the standings plus a wildcard entry (unless the wildcard is one of the top five) will be held on Friday, October 29 at 5:00 pm at California Raceway in Fontana, California. Moreno's Visteon/Patrick Racing crew, which led the standings for much of the season, is currently second with 131 points.

Fernandez Second In Budweiser Hard Charger Award Standings:

Fernandez is in second place, and closing, in the Budweiser Hard Charger Award season standings. Luis Garcia Jr. holds an eight-point lead over Fernandez, 107-99.

Consistency For Fernandez And Moreno Goes Farther Than This Year:

Starting with Fontana in 1997, Fernandez has finished sixth or better in 31 of 54 events placing in the top-10 at 39 races and in the points 42 times. Moreno has finished in the top-10 in 17 of his last 31 CART starts and in the points 21 times.

Patrick Racing Tops Standings For Fifth Time In Last Six Years:

Patrick Racing has led the CART championship race at some point during the season in five of the last six years. They topped the standings at the halfway

point of the season for the first time during that span this year.

McGee Holds Record For Most Wins:

Patrick Racing General Manager Jim McGee is tops on the all-time wins list for a General-Team Manager/Chief Mechanic with 88. McGee is the only

Manager/Chief Mechanic to win a championship in four decades (60's - 90's).

He has at least one victory in each of his last five decades (his 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's) and a least one victory in each of the last five decades (60's - 00).

Patrick Racing Facts:

Patrick Racing, in its 28th year of competition, is one of the most successful teams in the history of Champ Car racing with 43 victories, three Indianapolis 500 wins and two national championships. U. E. "Pat" Patrick is the co-founder of CART and the "father" of the Dayton Indy Lights Series.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Adrian Fernandez , Roberto Moreno , Luis Garcia