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Fernandez to Drive Four NBS Races in Lowe's Chevy

 

CONCORD, N.C.(June 29, 2005)—Lowe’s and Hendrick Motorsports announced today that open-wheel racing star Adrian Fernandez will drive the No. 5 Lowe’s Chevrolet in four additional Busch Series races in 2005.

Fernandez made his NASCAR debut March 6, leading four laps and finishing 10th on the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez road course in his native Mexico City. The 42-year-old is Mexico’s most popular driver and one of the country’s most popular athletes.

Fernandez will drive the No. 5 car on Sept. 3 at California Speedway, Nov. 5 at Texas Motor Speedway, Nov. 12 at Phoenix International Raceway and Nov. 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“I am honored by this opportunity to be part of Lowe’s, Hendrick Motorsports and NASCAR,” said Fernandez who plans to test in the coming weeks. “I had such a good time with Jim Long and the Hendrick team in Mexico that I wanted to do this again. I am really excited about getting a chance to race on an oval in NASCAR. I understand I have a huge learning curve ahead of me, but I think we can run respectably and have a lot of fun.”

Marshall Carlson, Hendrick Motorsports’ general manager, said Fernandez has impressed the organization.

“Over his career, Adrian has proven he is a talented race-car driver and reinforced it in Mexico in March,” Carlson said.  “He ran IRL races at three of these tracks last year, with a win at California and two top-fives at Texas.  Adrian adapted to the new car very quickly in Mexico City, and the No. 5 Lowe’s team is excited about preparing for these four additional races with him.”

“Lowe’s is proud to have Adrian back behind the wheel of the No. 5 Lowe’s Chevrolet,” said Bob Gfeller, Lowe’s senior vice president of marketing and advertising. “What he accomplished in Mexico - leading like he did and finishing 10th- combined with the reception our employees and customers have given Adrian is incredible.”

Fernandez is a familiar name to racing fans with a successful career that spans over 12 years at the top levels of open-wheel racing. He most recently competed in the Indianapolis 500 on May 29, and also owns the cars driven by Scott Sharp and Kosuke Matsuura in the Indy Racing League.

Fernandez began motocross racing at the age of eight in Mexico. He raced open-wheel cars in Mexico and Europe before joining the CART series in 1993 and posting eight career victories and 21 podium finishes through the 2003 season. In 2004, Fernandez joined the Indy Racing League, where he won three races including two of the series’ final three events.

Fernandez is Mexico’s premier driver. He was nominated for Mexico’s National Sports Award - the 2004 Premio Nacional del Deporte - for his career achievements in auto racing. Fernandez has been the past recipient of numerous awards including “Athlete of the Year” in Mexico. He was most recently recognized at the Premios Fox Sports Awards for his contributions to Latin American auto racing.

Fernandez joins Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Blake Feese, Boston Reid and Kyle Krisiloff as drivers of the No. 5 Lowe’s Busch car in 2005. Jim Long serves as the team’s crew chief. The No. 5 team won the NASCAR Busch Series championship with driver Brian Vickers in 2003 and finished second in points with driver Busch last season.

This team won the Busch race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway near Charlotte in May.

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