Fernandez Driving No. 57 Lowe’s Chevy at 'The Glen'
- Jul 01, 2006
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 29, 2006) - Lowe’s and Hendrick Motorsports announced today that Adrian Fernandez will drive the No. 57 Lowe’s Chevrolet in the Busch Series race at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 12.
This race marks Fernandez’s eighth career and second appearance of the 2006 season in the Busch Series. The Mexico City native finished 12th on March 5 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in his hometown.
Fernandez said he is getting acclimated to a Busch car and has enough experience on the New York road course to race with the leaders. However, without provisionals, he knows before he can race he will have to concentrate on qualifying.
“I love that race track,” Fernandez said. “We tested our Grand American car there and then raced well there in June. We were the fastest car in practice. With my experience and the quality car Hendrick Motorsports will give me should help us make the Busch race. Once we get in the race who knows what will happen.”
It will be a busy weekend for Fernandez. On Friday night of that weekend, he and teammate Mario Haberfeld will race the No. 12 Lowe’s Pontiac Riley in the 200-mile race in the Grand American Sports Car Series. Fernandez Racing in Indianapolis prepares the Daytona Prototype Haberfeld and Fernandez race in the sports car series.
Fernandez said Friday’s race will be tough, but Saturday’s will be even tougher.
“We are hoping for a very fun weekend,” Fernandez said. “Any time we go to the track we go to win, but a win in either series that weekend would be great. A win in both would be unbelievable. There are a ton of good cars in both series so competition will be tough. We will just do our best and see what happens. It is very difficult to come in and try to beat these Busch Series guys who do this every weekend.”
Fernandez made his NASCAR debut in March of 2005 leading four laps and finishing 10th in Mexico City. The 43-year-old is Mexico’s most popular driver and one of the country’s most popular athletes.
In 2005 Fernandez drove the Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, California Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“I am always honored by this opportunity to be part of Lowe’s, Hendrick Motorsports and NASCAR,” said Fernandez. “I have a good time every time I come here. I have said that I have a huge learning curve but we are making progress every time we race. 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 finished 12th but he was one of the fastest cars in Mexico City. We think Adrian has a chance to do very well at Watkins Glen.”
“Lowe’s is proud to have Adrian back behind the wheel of the No. 57 Lowe’s Chevrolet,” said Bob Gfeller, Lowe’s senior vice president of marketing and advertising. “With his sports car races and Busch Series race we have come to know Adrian very well and support his every effort.”
Fernandez is a familiar name to racing fans with a successful career that spans over 13 years at the top levels of open-wheel racing. He 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.