Daytona 24: Fernandez Racing preview
Lowe's Fernandez Racing Ready for Start of 2006 Rolex Series Championship Fernandez, Haberfeld & Sharp to Pilot Lowe's Pontiac in Rolex 24 At Daytona Lowe's Fernandez Racing will make its debut in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series on ...
Lowe's Fernandez Racing Ready for Start of 2006 Rolex Series Championship
Fernandez, Haberfeld & Sharp to Pilot Lowe's Pontiac in Rolex 24 At Daytona
Lowe's Fernandez Racing will make its debut in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway when the green flag drops on the 44th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Adrian Fernandez, Mario Haberfeld and Scott Sharp will pilot the No. 12 Lowe's Fernandez Racing Pontiac Riley in North America's premier endurance race. Fernandez and Haberfeld will partner for all 14 races in the Rolex Series in 2006.
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ ON ROLEX SERIES: "We are very excited about this series. This all started through a great relationship with Lowe's and myself that began last year when I was racing with Hendrick Motorsports in NASCAR. Grand American is a growing, competitive series with great teams and great drivers. We are going to be here for a while."
FERNANDEZ ON DAYTONA: "I have raced on the oval here at Daytona when I raced in the IROC Series, but I have never been on the road course until testing a few weeks ago. It's all new for Lowe's and Fernandez racing. We are bringing our top people here but we also have a lot to do. We didn't take delivery of our car until December 30, so we have been working day and night to get ready for this weekend. It's going to be a fun experience. There are a lot of great drivers here from many series, including NASCAR and the Indy Racing League. I think I've raced against more drivers here than anybody else."
FERNANDEZ ON 24-HOUR RACING: "My very first race was in a 24-hour race in Mexico City in a Volkswagen Beetle. I was 18-years-old, and used to follow the racing careers of my uncles. I convinced my Dad and them that I was ready to race myself. I wanted to see if I could compete and if I liked racing. It was a great experience, but we only made it seven hours. That was the first time I ever said I wanted to race the rest of my life."
MARIO HABERFELD ON NEW TEAM: "I am really excited about this opportunity. I raced in the Daytona Prototype division in Mexico last year and really enjoyed it. So, when Adrian called me about this new deal, it was the perfect opportunity. Adrian and I know each other well, and we have a great sponsor in Lowe's. I am really looking forward to it."
SCOTT SHARP, A FORMER ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA WINNER, ON WINNING AN ENDURANCE RACE: "I expect this team to be very competitive, but this race is all about getting to the finish. How many times have we seen only a small number of cars run reasonably strong toward the end of the race? The key is to stay out of trouble and avoid a lot of the little problems that can ruin your race. The more cars you have on the track, the more important it is for a driver to be careful and make sure he brings the car back to the pits in one piece."
ABOUT THE DRIVERS
* Fernandez, 42, a Mexico City native who now resides in Phoenix, made his mark as an open-wheel star through a 12-year career at the top levels of the sport. In 2005, he branched out to NASCAR running six races with Hendrick Motorsports in the Busch Series.
* Haberfeld, 29, a native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and current resident of Key Biscayne, Fla., is a former British Formula 3 champion, who made his US racing debut in the Champ Car World Series contesting the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
* Sharp, 37, a native of Norwalk, Conn. and current resident of Jupiter, Fla., is a veteran of the IRL IndyCar Series and a former series champion. Early in his career, he made his mark in the SCCA ranks and is two-time Trans-Am and three-time National champion.
* Fernandez Racing was formed in 2000 by Fernandez and motorsports veteran Tom Anderson. The team has grown to encompass the Super Aguri Fernandez Racing and Delphi Fernandez Racing teams, which currently contest the IndyCar Series with drivers Kosuke Matsuura and Scott Sharp respectively. Lowe's Fernandez Racing is based at the Fernandez Racing headquarters in Indianapolis, Ind. Anderson oversees the program as managing director, with Steve Miller as team manager, Mike Sales as chief mechanic and John Ward as race engineer.
* Miller has been involved in motorsports for over 20 years in a variety of roles from mechanic to engineer and team director, and most recently served as general manager for Fernandez Racing.
* Sales has spent the past four years at Fernandez Racing in both chief mechanic and team manager roles and, as a veteran of over 33 years in the sport, brings extensive racing experience.
* Ward's distinguished career as a race and design engineer dates back to the mid '70s, and he most recently served as race engineer with Fernandez Racing in the IndyCar Series. His impressive roster of accomplishments include the design of a Daytona 24-Hour and Sebring 12-Hour race-winning chassis.
Television coverage of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series will be carried on SPEED Channel in 2006. Rolex Series races will also be distributed around the world via ESPN International, and Spanish-language broadcasts via FOX Latin American Channels.
* SPEED TV will provide coverage of the 24 Hours of Daytona:
* Saturday Noon -- 7 p.m.
* Saturday 8-11 p.m.
* Sunday 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Additional information on Lowe's-Fernandez Racing and the Rolex Series can be found at media.lowesracing.com, www.fernandezracing.net and www.grandamerican.com.