IRL: Nashville: FR, Fernandez Friday report

Fernandez to Start 13th in Nashville Adrian Fernandez will make his first career start at Nashville Superspeedway from Row Seven of the grid after qualifying 13th for the Firestone Indy 200. Fernandez, who charged from a 16-place...

Fernandez to Start 13th in Nashville

Adrian Fernandez will make his first career start at Nashville Superspeedway from Row Seven of the grid after qualifying 13th for the Firestone Indy 200. Fernandez, who charged from a 16-place starting position to finish seventh in Richmond three weeks ago, will be looking to extend his streak of four consecutive top-seven finishes and move into the top 10 in the championship standings. Saturday's 200-lap event on the challenging 1.33-mile concrete tri-oval will mark the seventh IRL IndyCar® Series start for the series only competing owner/driver.

Weather: 78 F under mostly cloudy skies for the opening of practice; temperatures rising to 82 F for the second practice session held with overcast skies and winds out of the west at 9 mph; temperatures at 81 F for MBNA Pole Qualifying.

Practice Recap: Fernandez set the seventh fastest time in the first of two 45-minute practice sessions with a best lap of 23.6395 197.974 mph; Fernandez was able to improve by two-tenths of a second to set the sixth-fastest time in the second session prior to MBNA Pole Qualifying with a best lap of 23.4392 199.666 mph.

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

"Nashville is definitely a different track. It is concrete and very bumpy. We didn't come with a good starting baseline. Some teams tested here but we didn't test here. In general, I think we have a good car for the race and that's the most important thing. We haven't been able to qualify very good at other races and still we did very well in the race. That's what we are hoping for tomorrow."

FAST FACTS: 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 in Texas-- best IndyCar Series starting position was sixth at the Indianapolis 500-- currently sits 12th in the championship standings, only 15 points out of the top 10 despite missing the season-opening race in Florida-- 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-- has 70 career oval starts to his credit, posting 35 top-10 finishes (50%) 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.

-fr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez