IRL: Richmond: FR, Adrian Fernandez preview

Fernandez Prepared for First Visit to Richmond Oval Adrian Fernandez will be making his first appearance at Richmond International Raceway this weekend as the IRL IndyCar® Series heads to Virginia's capital for the SunTrust Indy Challenge. The...

Fernandez Prepared for First Visit to Richmond Oval

Adrian Fernandez will be making his first appearance at Richmond International Raceway this weekend as the IRL IndyCar® Series heads to Virginia's capital for the SunTrust Indy Challenge. The second of three night races on the 2004 schedule, the fast .75-mile oval is the shortest circuit on the 16-race tour and will provide plenty of excitement as drivers challenge for the front in the 250-lap sprint to the checkered flag.

Fernandez comes to Richmond on the heels of a successful test at another short oval track -- The Milwaukee Mile -- last week. Adding to his confidence are two top-seven results in the past two races, including a late-race charge from 12th to fifth at Texas two weeks ago, aboard the #5 Quaker State/Telmex/Tecate Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone.

* Will be making his first visit to Richmond International Raceway and his fifth IRL IndyCar Series career start

* Posted his best IndyCar Series results-to-date in the last two events with a fifth-place run at Texas on June 12 and a seventh-place finish in the Indianapolis 500

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

* Has made 68 career oval starts to date, claiming 33 top-10 finishes (49%)

* Currently sits 16th in the championship standings, only 28 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:

"I hear from every driver that Richmond is quite a special place -- that it is a fun track and very difficult at three-quarters of a mile. I watched last year's race and it looks like a lot of fun, and I am looking forward to racing there. I am pretty confident after having two good results in the last two races and a good test at Milwaukee. I think we are looking good."

FAST FACTS: 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 68 career oval starts to his credit, posting 33 top-10 finishes 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.

Trackside: Fernandez will participate in the IRL Fan Forum -- a question and answer session hosted by Jack Arute -- at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, June 26. The event will begin at 5:00 pm ET and will be held at the Indy Racing Live stage.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez