IRL: Nazareth: FR, Fernandez Saturday report

Fernandez Qualifies Sixth in Nazareth Adrian Fernandez will make his ninth major open-wheel start at Nazareth Speedway from Row Three of the grid after qualifying sixth for tomorrow's Firestone Indy 225. Fernandez looked primed to better ...

Fernandez Qualifies Sixth in Nazareth

Adrian Fernandez will make his ninth major open-wheel start at Nazareth Speedway from Row Three of the grid after qualifying sixth for tomorrow's Firestone Indy 225. Fernandez looked primed to better his career-best starting position of sixth at Nazareth from 2001, but was unable to improve due to a missed downshift on his second hot lap.

Fernandez, whose best finish at Nazareth was fifth in 1999 and 2000, has been hovering near the top of the speed charts throughout practice activities this weekend. He will be chasing a third consecutive top-three finish in Sunday's 225-lap event, which will mark the 100th IRL IndyCar® Series race.

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

"I think we could have done a little bit better in qualifying, maybe third or fourth place. I missed a downshift into Turn Four. You are going so fast through there that the engine has a protection so you cannot shift if it is over the rev limiter that you have. It is so critical there that I was trying to carry a lot more momentum and shift a little earlier. The gear didn't go through and I lost the momentum coming out. In all, it's been good. The car is very good for tomorrow, and we should have a good race."

FAST FACTS: Will be making his ninth career start at Nazareth Speedway and his 12th IRL IndyCar Series start-- claimed his first IndyCar Series victory at Kentucky Speedway two weeks ago-- finished second at Pikes Peak last weekend-- best IndyCar starting position to date was fourth at Kentucky-- currently sits seventh in the championship standings-- enters his 12th season of major open-wheel competition-- is the only competing owner/driver in the IndyCar Series field and the only Mexican driver to compete on a full-time basis in the IndyCar Series-- five of his nine major open-wheel wins have been on ovals (Kentucky 2004, Rio 2000, Fontana 1999, Japan 1998/1999)-- has made 75 career oval starts to date, claiming 39 top-10 finishes (52%)-- 41 years old from Mexico City-- currently resides in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

-fr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez