IRL: Fontana: Honda qualifying report

Fernandez First Honda in California Qualifying Runs Fernandez Racing owner/driver Adrian Fernandez led the Honda-powered field in qualifying Saturday at California Speedway, and will start fifth in Sunday's 200-lap event. Helio Castroneves ...

Fernandez First Honda in California Qualifying Runs

Fernandez Racing owner/driver Adrian Fernandez led the Honda-powered field in qualifying Saturday at California Speedway, and will start fifth in Sunday's 200-lap event. Helio Castroneves continues to be the only non-Honda driver to claim an IndyCar pole in 2004, and for the fourth time this year will start from the front of the field for Team Penske.

Rahal Letterman Racing teammates Vitor Meira and Buddy Rice will line up just behind Fernandez, in sixth and seventh. Bryan Herta headed the four-car Andretti Green Racing qualifying effort with a ninth-place run, followed by teammate Dario Franchitti, who will start from the top 10 for the 12th time this season.

Rookie Mark Taylor will start 12th for Access Motorsports, equaling his best starting position since joining the team in mid-season. Dan Wheldon will line up 14th for Andretti Green Racing, with rookie points leader Kosuke Matsuura 18th for Super Aguri Fernandez Racing.

Although he will start at the back of the field after encountering mechanical problems during his qualifying run, a fourth-place finish or higher on Sunday will clinch the 2004 IRL Drivers' Championship for Tony Kanaan, regardless of how his competitors finish.

Honda, which has already clinched the 2004 Manufacturers' Championship, will be seeking its 14th consecutive race victory in Sunday's 200-lap feature.

Adrian Fernandez (#5 Quaker State/Telmex Fernandez Racing Honda): Qualified fourth: "Conditions were tough today; it was very windy. We didn't run any laps [in practice] this morning because we had a gearbox problem. For qualifying, it was very windy and the car was very 'loose'. But since we didn't have a chance to try anything this morning, I'm happy with where we will start tomorrow."

-honda-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Mark Taylor , Helio Castroneves , Adrian Fernandez , Dario Franchitti , Bryan Herta , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Kosuke Matsuura , Vitor Meira
Teams Team Penske