IRL: Kentucky: FR, Fernandez race report

Fernandez Wins Belterra Casino Indy 300 Adrian Fernandez claimed his first IRL IndyCar Series® win today with his victory in the Belterra Casino Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway. This is the second win for Fernandez in his dual role as an ...

Fernandez Wins Belterra Casino Indy 300

Adrian Fernandez claimed his first IRL IndyCar Series® win today with his victory in the Belterra Casino Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway. This is the second win for Fernandez in his dual role as an owner/driver [first was Portland in 2003] and his ninth major open-wheel victory. Fernandez, who led 51 of 200 laps today, has moved into ninth-place in the championship point standings.

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

"It was a great weekend. We qualified well, and I felt we had a strong car and that we had something for a win. We were very aggressive on the setup of the car. At our test here last week, we proved the car could be fast. From the start of the race, we tried to fight for the lead. The way the car was gave me a lot of confidence and that was the key. We had a problem in the pits [on the second pit stop] and lost a lot of positions. At that point, the car was not that good. We were patient and saved some fuel and managed to get back to the front. The key was on the last restart when I was in sixth place with new tires. I knew that I had to try to charge to the front and that's what I did on the outside of [Turns] One and Two; I carried a lot of momentum into [Turns] Three and Four and managed to get the lead. Everybody was going to have to save fuel, but I was able to make the [fuel mileage] numbers that the team was giving me. I am very happy for the team. They deserved this win and worked very hard to get us a better car. I take my hat off to them for the fantastic job that they did, and also to Kosuke [Matsuura] for finishing fourth. I am very happy for Honda and want to congratulate them on winning the Manufacturer's Championship today. It was a fantastic day for everyone."

FAST FACTS: This was his first start at Kentucky Speedway and his 10th IRL IndyCar Series start-- has claimed seven top-10 results in 10 IndyCar Series starts-- previous best IndyCar Series finish was fifth at Texas-- best IndyCar Series starting position was fourth at Kentucky-- has made 74 career oval starts to date, claiming 38 top-10 finishes (50%)-- currently sits ninth in the point standings-- only competing owner/driver in the IRL IndyCar Series field-- enters his 12th season of major open-wheel competition-- is the only Mexican driver to compete on a full-time basis in the IndyCar Series-- five of his eight major open-wheel wins have been on ovals (Kentucky 2004, 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:

"If I know Adrian, he has said everything that needs to be said but I think you can't say enough. He did an incredible job today. He got behind when we had a problem with a wheel gun and still came back to win and be dominant. A fantastic win and it just goes to show how talented this man is. It is great to be his partner and here's to many more. The crowning jewel on today's event was the fact that this win captured the manufacturer's trophy for Honda. Honda has done a tremendous job all year. I also want to say that the Firestone tires were absolutely incredible. They gave us the grip we needed to go around the outside today. Congratulations to both of them; they are great partners and we look forward to many more years together."

-www.fernandezracing.net

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Tom Anderson