IRL: Fernandez nominated for Mexico's top sports award

FORT WORTH, Texas (October 14, 2004) -- Fernandez Racing Owner/Driver Adrian Fernandez has been nominated for Mexico's National Sports Award -- the 2004 Premio Nacional del Deporte -- for his career achievements in auto racing and his impressive...

FORT WORTH, Texas (October 14, 2004) -- Fernandez Racing Owner/Driver Adrian Fernandez has been nominated for Mexico's National Sports Award -- the 2004 Premio Nacional del Deporte -- for his career achievements in auto racing and his impressive performance in his inaugural season of IRL IndyCar® Series competition.

This is the first year that professional athletes have been eligible for this prestigious award. Fernandez was nominated this week by the Mexican Auto Racing Federation (Federacion Mexicana de Autovomilismo Deportivo, AC) through its president, Hector Calatayud Izquierdo.

Fernandez joins an illustrious group of nominees including rising LPGA star Lorena Ochoa, boxer Erik Morales, who has won world titles in three different weight divisions, Golden State Warriors forward Eduardo Najera -- only the second Mexican-born player to play in the NBA, and Colorado Rockies' third baseman Vinicio Castilla. Nominations for the award will close on Friday, October 15.

Mexico's President Vicente Fox will present the award in a special ceremony on November 20, Revolution Day in Mexico.

"I feel very grateful to have been nominated for what is the highest honor for an athlete in Mexico," said Fernandez. "To be recognized as a candidate for the National Sports Award is truly a privilege, and to be nominated alongside Mexican athletes that have excelled in their sport like Lorena Ochoa and Vinny Castilla is very special. I am very proud to be able to represent my country in the sport of auto racing."

Fernandez, 41, of Mexico City, Mexico, has been competing in major open-wheel racing categories the past 12 years. He entered the Indy Racing League in 2004, and is currently ranked fourth in the championship standings on the strength of three wins in the past five events. Fernandez, who has 11 major open-wheel victories to his credit, has been the past recipient of numerous awards including "Athlete of the Year" in Mexico. He was most recently recognized at the Premios Fox Sports Awards in December for his contributions to Latin American auto racing.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez