Adrian Fernandez heads to familiar territory this weekend as the IRL IndyCar Series converges on California Speedway for the Toyota Indy 400, the second to the last round of competition on the 16-race 2004 schedule. Fernandez is a previous winner at Fontana, claiming victory in 1999, and only once has failed to finish out of the top five in five career starts on the two-mile oval.
In addition to past success at California Speedway, Fernandez is also riding a wave of momentum having scored two wins and a second-place result in three of the last four IndyCar Series events.
Sunday’s 200-lap race represents a crucial round in the championship standings, where both the series title and Rookie of the Year honors currently led by Super Aguri Fernandez Racing driver Kosuke Matsuura could be claimed. For Fernandez, who sits one point out of fifth and 14 points out of fourth in the standings, it is an opportunity to break into the top five in the championship despite missing the season opening race in Homestead, Florida.
FAST FACTS: Enters his 12th season of major open-wheel competition… is the only competing owner/driver in the IndyCar Series field and the only Mexican driver to compete on a full-time basis in the IndyCar Series… six of his 10 major open-wheel wins have been on ovals (Chicago-land 2004, Kentucky 2004, Rio 2000, Fontana 1999, Japan 1998/1999)… has made 77 career oval starts to date, claiming 41 top-10 finishes (53%)… major open-wheel career record includes 191 starts with 101 top-10 results (53%) and 44 top-five finishes (23%)… 41 years old from Mexico City… currently resides in Paradise Valley, Arizona.