Weather: 74 F under mostly cloudy skies with winds out of the southwest at 17 mph; 60% chance of rain. Number of Laps: 11 Fernandez Indianapolis 500 Notes: * Fernandez will start sixth, tying with Josele Garza (sixth in 1981) as the...
Weather: 74 F under mostly cloudy skies with winds out of the southwest at 17 mph; 60% chance of rain.
Number of Laps: 11
Fernandez Indianapolis 500 Notes:
* Fernandez will start sixth, tying with Josele Garza (sixth in 1981) as the highest qualifying Mexican driver for the Indianapolis 500
* This will be his third Indianapolis 500 start; last competed at Indy nine years ago in 1995
* Fernandez is one of only five Mexican drivers who have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Josele Garza, Bernard Jourdain, Michel Jourdain Jr., Hector Rebaque)
* The last Mexican driver to compete in the Indianapolis 500 was Michel Jourdain Jr. in 1996
* The best finish by a Mexican driver to date was ninth (Bernard Jourdain in 1989)
* The only Mexican driver to lead a lap in the Indianapolis 500 to date was Josele Garza who led 13 laps in 1981
* The last win by an owner/driver in the Indianapolis 500 was Eddie Cheever in 1998
* Fernandez claimed his last oval win in 2000 (Rio de Janeiro); his last major open-wheel win was Portland, 2003
* This will be his third IRL IndyCar Series career start
Adrian Fernandez, #5 Quaker State/Telmex/Tecate Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone:
"We just wrapped it up on Carburetion Day. We had a great month so far. The car has been very consistent and actually our worst performance was probably qualifying. We learned a lot after qualifying and the car was more consistent. Before that, it was working better under hot conditions but now the car is actually better in all conditions since we made those changes after qualifying. Considering that, we feel pretty confident that both of our cars will be strong for the race."
FAST FACTS: Qualified sixth for the Indianapolis 500-- has made two IRL IndyCar Series career starts (Phoenix and Japan)-- last competed in the Indianapolis 500 in 1995, and was credited with 21st place after retiring with an engine problem-- made one additional start at Indianapolis in 1994, but a cut tire resulted in suspension damage and Fernandez was unable to finish-- best qualifying position at Indianapolis was 25th in 1995-- enters his 12th season of major open-wheel competition-- has 66 career oval starts to his credit, posting 31 top-10 finishes and eight podiums-- four of his eight major open-wheel wins have been on ovals (Rio 2000, Fontana 1999, Japan 1998/1999)-- last victory was in June of 2003 at Portland -- his first as an owner/driver-- 41 years old from Mexico City-- currently resides in Paradise Valley, Arizona.