IRL: Fontana: FR, Fernandez Friday report

Fernandez Off to a Strong Start at California Speedway Adrian Fernandez claimed the sixth fastest time overall in opening practice activities for the Toyota Indy 400 at California Speedway - the second to last round of 2004 IRL IndyCar® Series...

Fernandez Off to a Strong Start at California Speedway

Adrian Fernandez claimed the sixth fastest time overall in opening practice activities for the Toyota Indy 400 at California Speedway - the second to last round of 2004 IRL IndyCar® Series competition. Fernandez, the 1999 race winner, is preparing for his sixth major open-wheel start on the two-mile oval this Sunday. His career record at California Speedway includes four top-five finishes in five starts.

Fernandez has claimed two wins and a second-place result in three of the last four IndyCar Series events. He currently sits one point out of fifth and 14 points out of fourth in the championship standings.

Adrian Fernandez, #5 Quaker State/Telmex/Tecate Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone:

"We had a good day, actually a great day with myself second and Kosuke [Matsuura] third [in the afternoon session]. The car still doesn't feel as good as I would like it to, but I think it is the same for everybody. In general, I feel confident and I hope we can fight for the pole for the first time this year. I feel that we have a strong car and we'll see tomorrow."

FAST FACTS: Will be making his sixth start at California Speedway and his 14th IRL IndyCar Series start... won at California Speedway in 1999, and has finished in the top five in four of five starts-- claimed two wins and a second-place finish in three of the last four IRL events - 1st at Kentucky Speedway [August 15], 1st at Chicagoland Speedway [September 12] and 2nd at Pikes Peak International Raceway [August 22]-- currently sits sixth in the championship standings, one point out of fifth place and 14 points out of fourth-- has scored eight top-10 finishes in 13 IndyCar Series starts-- last competed at California Speedway in 2001-- enters his 12th season of major open-wheel competition-- is the only competing owner/driver in the IndyCar Series field and the only Mexican driver to compete on a full-time basis in the IndyCar Series-- six of his 10 major open-wheel wins have been on ovals (Chicagoland 2004, Kentucky 2004, Rio 2000, Fontana 1999, Japan 1998/1999)-- has made 77 career oval starts to date, claiming 41 top-10 finishes (53%)-- major open-wheel career record includes 191 starts with 101 top-10 results (53%) and 44 top-five finishes (23%)-- 41 years old from Mexico City-- currently resides in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

-fr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez