IRL: Indy 500: FR, Fernandez race report

Fernandez Finishes Seventh in Indy 500 * This was the highest finishing position by a Mexican driver in the history of the Indianapolis 500 Adrian Fernandez, ...

Fernandez Finishes Seventh in Indy 500

* This was the highest finishing position by a Mexican driver in the history of the Indianapolis 500

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

"It was a good day for everybody; I am very proud of the guys. Obviously we would liked to have had a better result. We just seemed to not have the breaks that we needed to have. We started with a not so good pit stop at the beginning, and then I was having a little bit of a problem on some of the restarts. I sort of took it back on the track and passed some people and got into a good position, but I think the biggest bad break was at the end when Helio [Castroneves] overshot his pit and I really had no space to come into my pit so that really put us in a bad position for the guys to change the tires. We lost like three or four positions that we couldn't recover at the end. We suffered from understeer through the race and that really didn't help me to push a little bit harder like I would have liked to do. In general, it was a good race; good for Kosuke [Matsuura]. For our second year here as a team, I think it was a very good result and I very proud of them."

FAST FACTS: Qualified sixth for the Indianapolis 500-- has made two previous 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-- enters his 12th season of major open-wheel competition-- has 67 career oval starts to his credit, posting 32 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.

Tom Anderson, Co-Owner/Managing Director:

"Obviously we expected more today. The fact of running in the top 10 all day and fighting with the same group was an accomplishment for us and I was proud of Adrian's first finish this year in the IndyCar Series. I know he had a lot there. Had we been able to give him some track position and a little bit of clear space, they never would have seen us. It wasn't to be today and some of the traffic that he was racing with today wasn't the most congenial that I have seen and I won't say any more than that. I'm very proud of the job that Adrian did today; a fantastic drive, and we are looking forward to being competitive again at Texas in two weeks.

"I want to congratulate Honda for their outstanding performance. I believe the top seven were all Hondas; a tremendous performance by Honda. Firestone had a great tire here all month and did an outstanding job."

-www.fernandezracing.net

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Tom Anderson