IRL: Pikes Peak: FR, Fernandez Saturday report

Fernandez Seventh after Qualifying is Rained Out at Pikes Peak Adrian Fernandez will make his first career start at Pikes Peak International Raceway from the seventh spot on the grid after qualifying activities for Sunday's Honda Indy 225 were ...

Fernandez Seventh after Qualifying is Rained Out at Pikes Peak Adrian Fernandez will make his first career start at Pikes Peak International Raceway from the seventh spot on the grid after qualifying activities for Sunday's Honda Indy 225 were canceled this afternoon due to heavy rain. Fernandez, who claimed his first IRL IndyCar® Series career win last weekend in Kentucky, will be preparing to make his 11th start in the series.

Sunday's 225-lap race will also mark the third one-mile oval start for Fernandez in IndyCar Series competition. Fernandez has five career oval victories to his credit, but has yet to win on a one-mile circuit.

Weather: For the start of the first 30-minute practice sessions, temperatures at 67 F under sunny skies with winds out of the southeast at six mph; temperatures at 71 F with winds at six mph out of the south for the second round of 45-minute practice sessions; light rain began to fall at 3:10 pm MT, 20 minutes prior to the start of MBNA Pole Qualifying.

Practice Recap: Fernandez was 13th in the first 30-minute practice session with a best lap of 21.3904 168.300 mph; Fernandez improved to a best lap of 20.9674 171.695 mph in the second 45-minute session and was seventh fastest.

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

"I think the track has been difficult for everybody. Running at these high altitudes makes the car difficult to drive. With new tires, it is good for a few laps but after that then you are really hanging on. There are a lot of people struggling. I was actually surprised that I ended up seventh in practice because my car didn't feel that good. I didn't feel very comfortable with the car. We made some changes, and it just doesn't feel very good. Unfortunately, we lost one car with Kosuke [Matsuura]. I don't know what happened there, but he had an accident. I think there are a lot more people that are struggling, and it is going to be a real lottery for the race."

FAST FACTS: Will be making his first start at Pikes Peak and his 11th IRL IndyCar Series start-- claimed his first career IndyCar Series victory at Kentucky Speedway last weekend-- has claimed seven top-10 results in 10 IndyCar Series starts-- currently sits 9th in the championship standings, 37 points out of the top five-- best IndyCar Series starting position was fourth at Kentucky-- best IndyCar Series result to date on a one-mile oval was eighth at Milwaukee-- has made 74 career oval starts to date, claiming 38 top-10 finishes (51%)-- 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 nine major open-wheel wins have been on ovals (Kentucky 2004, Rio 2000, Fontana 1999, Japan 1998/1999)-- 41 years old from Mexico City-- currently resides in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

-fr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez