Fernandez Wraps Up Rain-Shortened Test in the Top Five MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (June 17, 2004) -- Adrian Fernandez claimed the fifth fastest time in the IRL IndyCarÂ® Series Open Test held at The Milwaukee Mile yesterday after today's practice ...
Fernandez Wraps Up Rain-Shortened Test in the Top Five
MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (June 17, 2004) -- Adrian Fernandez claimed the fifth fastest time in the IRL IndyCar® Series Open Test held at The Milwaukee Mile yesterday after today's practice sessions were cancelled due to rain. The originally scheduled two-day test featured 22 car-driver combinations, with Fernandez the fastest of the Honda-powered contingent.
Fernandez has made 11 open-wheel starts on the challenging one-mile oval, posting his best results in 2002 with a second-place finish after starting from the pole. The IRL IndyCar Series will be contesting its first race at the historic circuit with the Menards A.J. Foyt Indy 225 on July 25.
NEXT UP: Fernandez Racing will head to Richmond International Raceway next week for the SunTrust Indy Challenge -- the second night race on the 2004 schedule -- to be held June 26.
Top Testing Speeds (from Wednesday):
1. Sam Hornish Jr. D/T/F 164.868 mph
2. Helio Castroneves D/T/F 164.582 mph
3. Scott Sharp D/T/F 163.707 mph
4. Scott Dixon G/T/F 163.332 mph
5. Adrian Fernandez G/H/F 162.025 mph
Adrian Fernandez, #5 Quaker State/Telmex/Tecate Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone:
"We had a good test and finished fifth fastest. Obviously, Milwaukee is a place that we know and have been racing at for a long time so it was nice to be back. We tried a lot of things and, after our performance [at the short oval] in Phoenix which wasn't very good, I think we learned a lot of things about the car and proved yesterday that we made some gains. Obviously, I am more used to the car, short-oval wise, and that is a big difference from now to my first time in the race car at Phoenix. We did a lot of miles and the weather was good. Unfortunately, today was rained out but we went through a lot of things yesterday and feel pretty confident for when we come back here. After having two good results in the last two races and a good test here, I think we are looking good. Kosuke [Matsuura] also had a good test here. The times here in the IRL are very close so you can never have a huge margin, but the important thing is that we are competitive."
FAST FACTS: Will be making his fifth IRL IndyCar Series start at Richmond next weekend-- posted best IndyCar Series results to date in the last two events, finishing fifth at Texas and seventh in the Indianapolis 500-- enters his 12th season of major open-wheel competition-- 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.
Tom Anderson, Co-Owner/Managing Director:
"I am very pleased with Adrian's performance at Milwaukee. He and John Ward [race engineer] worked together very well. Obviously the experience they have together here at Milwaukee is very important as Milwaukee looks very easy but is probably one of the most challenging ovals that we have on the circuit. It was a very good idea by the IRL to come to Milwaukee and have the open test, and we appreciate that effort. Unfortunately, we were not able to run today and would very much have liked to in order to finalize some full-tank running, but we feel we have a lot of information for our engineers to work on before our race here in July."