IRL: Texas: Adrian Fernandez preview

Fernandez Hopes to Shine in First Night Race of the Season Fernandez Racing Owner/Driver Adrian Fernandez makes his first visit to Texas Motor Speedway since 2001 this weekend as the IRL IndyCar® Series prepares for the Bombardier 500k, the ...

Fernandez Hopes to Shine in First Night Race of the Season

Fernandez Racing Owner/Driver Adrian Fernandez makes his first visit to Texas Motor Speedway since 2001 this weekend as the IRL IndyCar® Series prepares for the Bombardier 500k, the opening night race of the 2004 season. The 1.5-mile oval is noted for its high banking with 24 degrees in the turns and five degrees on the straightaways as well as its close wheel-to-wheel racing.

Both Fernandez and the Fernandez Racing team head to Fort Worth with a shot of confidence after a strong showing throughout the month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Fernandez, who turned his first laps in an IRL IndyCar Series car just under three months ago, topped the speed charts on more than one occasion, and brought the #5 Quaker State/Telmex/Tecate Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone home in seventh position at the Indy 500 -- his best performance to date in IndyCar Series competition.

* Will be making his fourth IRL IndyCar Series career start

* Posted best IndyCar Series result to date in the Indianapolis 500 last month, qualifying sixth and finishing seventh

* First and only visit to Texas Motor Speedway was in 2001 where Fernandez qualified 12th for the CART race which was not run

Adrian Fernandez, #5 Quaker State/Telmex/Tecate Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone:
"I am very excited to go back to Texas, and I'm looking forward to carrying the momentum we had at Indy. I know it will be an exciting race. It will be different with a lot of things to learn since we will be racing side-by-side, which in some ways I am new to, but I am looking forward to it. The more laps I do, the more comfortable I feel. The team has been doing well and we are more organized, and I am sure we are going to be very competitive. I am also looking forward to meeting a lot of the fans that we have there. I did some PR in Texas a few years ago, and I could see the strong support we have in that market. For a driver, that is very motivating."

FAST FACTS: Enters his 12th season of major open-wheel competition-- has 67 career oval starts to his credit, posting 32 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.

Around Town: Fernandez will be greeting fans and signing autographs at two Carnival Food Stores this Wednesday, June 9th -- 5:30 pm CT at the Carnival Food Store located at 3460 Webb Chapel Extention at Lambardy in Dallas; 7:00 pm CT at the Carnival Food Store located at 3320 Avenue K at Parker in Plano. Radio stations KESS and KLNO respectively will be on-site and the IRL Fan Experience will be present at both events.

Trackside: Fernandez will join Latino band Sacramento at the IRL Concert Stage located at the Midway near Gate Four for a race day concert and autograph session from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm CT.

-fr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez