IRL: Nashville: FR, Adrian Fernandez preview

Fernandez Carries Momentum to Nashville Debut Adrian Fernandez will be looking to extend his streak of four consecutive top-seven finishes this weekend when the IRL IndyCar® Series visits Nashville -- home of Firestone, the official tire of the...

Fernandez Carries Momentum to Nashville Debut

Adrian Fernandez will be looking to extend his streak of four consecutive top-seven finishes this weekend when the IRL IndyCar® Series visits Nashville -- home of Firestone, the official tire of the Indy Racing League -- for the Firestone Indy 200. Located southeast of Music City in Lebanon, the 1.33-mile Nashville Superspeedway oval is unique, being the only concrete-surfaced track on the 16-race tour. Saturday's 200-lap event is the third and final night race on the 2004 schedule.

For Fernandez, who will be making his seventh IndyCar Series start, the state-of-the-art Nashville Superspeedway is one of six circuits he will visit for the first time this season. Fernandez, however, has proved that he is a quick learner. After experiencing gearbox and clutch problems in his first two races, Fernandez rebounded with a strong performance during the month of May at Indianapolis and has claimed one top-five and three top-10 finishes in his last four starts.

* Will be making his first appearance at Nashville Superspeedway and his seventh IRL IndyCar Series career start

* Has finished seventh or better in the past four events

* Best IndyCar Series finish to date was fifth at Texas

* Best IndyCar Series starting position was sixth at the Indianapolis 500

* Has made 70 career oval starts to date, claiming 35 top-10 finishes (50%)

* Currently sits 12th in the championship standings, only 15 points out of the top 10 despite missing the season-opening race in Florida

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

"We have been in the hunt the past four races and I am hoping that Nashville is the place that we get that little break we need to get to the front. The series is so competitive that an extra second on a pit stop or getting through traffic on the race track can mean the difference between finishing first or fourth. The team has been doing a great job and, considering we only have six races under our belts, I am really pleased with where we are at right now.

"I have never been to Nashville, but I have heard a lot of good things about the city and how friendly everyone is there. I know they had a great crowd for the race last year. Obviously, we'll have a bit of a learning curve with the race track since I have never driven there, and I'm sure the concrete surface will take some getting used to -- at least visually with the surface being white instead of the black asphalt that we are used to running on. We have good momentum coming off the last four races and I am looking forward to this weekend."

-fr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez