NASCAR News

Adrian Fernandez leads crash fest Friday in Mexico

 

March 4, 2005

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Adrian Fernandez
CIA Stock Photo

Friday in Mexico was a crash fest for the NASCAR Busch Series as car after car crashed on the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez  track made famous by Formula One and Champ Car. In the end, as always happens in NASCAR, the right man came up fastest on the NASCAR timing system, local hero Adrian Fernandez.

The latest to crash was Carl Edwards.

After leading the first Busch Series practice in a foreign country, Edwards had an eventful second session. First, he misjudged a corner and slid off the course. No harm, no foul, and he returned to the track. Edwards was following a car he said was Kim Crosby through the chicane, a quick right-left-right-left insert into the frontstretch. The cars got through the first right-left fine, but Crosby missed the exit, going straight instead of going right.

Edwards, caught by surprise by the sudden move, missed the braking point, clipped the outside curb and shot left. Out of control, Edwards drilled the concrete barrier to the right of the track, slamming head-first into the barrier and bouncing across the track.

NASCAR and track officials worked to repair the damaged wall. Meanwhile, Edwards walked back to the garage area as his Roush Racing team brought out the No. 60 backup car. But the engine in the backup blew up. Edwards at least was able to keep this car out of the fence. So after a quick start, Edwards has ruined one car and two engines. But the rookie road-racer still likes racing here.

"I love it," Edwards said. "Our car was fast. On old tires, we ran like a (88.)28. We were moving. We were getting ready to run a great lap, but I guess that is what comes with a little bit of maturity."

Adrian Fernandez firmly established himself as the favorite for the pole Saturday with an amazing lap of 104.036 mph. That fast lap was more than four-tenths of a second faster than Ron Fellows, who went 103.503.

Fernandez is a Mexico City native and will undoubtedly be the fan favorite this weekend. His popularity has grown to Dale Earnhardt Jr.-like status as Fernandez rose through the ranks to become a winner in CART and the IRL.

This is Fernandez's first attempt at a NASCAR race, and he appears to have taken to stock cars just fine, thank you.

"I feel fine. I'm pushing when I need to push," said Fernandez, driving Hendrick Motorsports' No. 5 Chevrolet. "I'm trying not to make mistakes. I try to follow a rhythm. I feel good about the car. I'm trying different things. Some things work, and others don't. ... We're very close, so that is good."

2nd Friday Practice Results

Rank

Car

Driver

Make

Sponsor

Speed

Time

Behind

1

#5

Adrian Fernandez

Chevrolet

Lowe's/Hitachi Power Tools

104.036

87.131

Leader

2

#87

Ron Fellows

Chevrolet

NEMCO Motorsports

103.503

87.580

-0.449

3

#1

Boris Said

Dodge

Yellow Transportation

103.470

87.608

-0.477

4

#38

Tyler Walker*

Dodge

Great Clips

103.266

87.781

-0.650

5

#66

Jorge Goeters

Ford

Scotiabank Inverlat/Canel's

103.178

87.856

-0.725

6

#283

Robby Gordon

Chevrolet

Red Bull

103.091

87.930

-0.799

7

#22

Kenny Wallace

Ford

Stacker 2

103.075

87.944

-0.813

8

#60

Carl Edwards*

Ford

Charter Communications

102.941

88.058

-0.927

9

#11

Paul Menard

Chevrolet

Menards/Turtle Wax

102.932

88.066

-0.935

10

#10

Michel Jourdain Jr.*

Ford

Telcel

102.918

88.078

-0.947

11

#8

Martin Truex Jr.

Chevrolet

Bass Pro Shops

102.878

88.112

-0.981

12

#41

Reed Sorenson*

Dodge

Discount Tire

102.544

88.399

-1.268

13

#40

Carlos Contreras

Dodge

Roshfrans Oil

102.315

88.597

-1.466

14

#64

Rusty Wallace

Dodge

Bell Helicopter

102.226

88.674

-1.543

15

#20

Denny Hamlin*

Chevrolet

Rockwell Automation

102.205

88.692

-1.561

16

#58

Brent Sherman*

Dodge

Hickory Farms/Serta

102.040

88.836

-1.705

17

#21

Kevin Harvick

Chevrolet

Pelon Pelo Rico

101.939

88.924

-1.793

18

#28

Johnny Sauter

Dodge

Yellow Transportation

101.873

88.981

-1.850

19

#36

Stanton Barrett

Chevrolet

DCT Motorsports

101.865

88.988

-1.857

20

#42

Jamie McMurray

Dodge

Texaco Havoline

101.855

88.997

-1.866

21

#18

J.J. Yeley

Chevrolet

Vigoro/The Home Depot

101.587

89.232

-2.101

22

#2

Clint Bowyer

Chevrolet

ACDelco

101.579

89.239

-2.108

23

#143

Jose Luis Ramirez Magana

Dodge

Del Valle Nectars

101.447

89.355

-2.224

24

#90

Elliott Sadler

Ford

CITI Financial

101.322

89.465

-2.334

25

#47

Jon Wood*

Ford

Clorox/Wisk

101.318

89.469

-2.338

26

#267

Jimmy Morales

Dodge

Telmex

101.279

89.503

-2.372

27

#33

Ron Hornaday

Chevrolet

Yard Man

101.272

89.509

-2.378

28

#6

Paul Wolfe*

Dodge

Hellmann's Mayonnaise

101.216

89.559

-2.428

29

#35

Jason Keller

Ford

McDonald's

101.083

89.677

-2.546

30

#27

David Green

Ford

Kleenex

100.914

89.827

-2.696

31

#59

Stacy Compton

Ford

Kingsford/Bush's Beans

100.831

89.901

-2.770

32

#32

Shane Hmiel

Chevrolet

Win Fuel

100.821

89.910

-2.779

33

#7

Chris Cook

Chevrolet

NEMCO Motorsports

100.804

89.925

-2.794

34

#297

Todd Souza

Chevrolet

Central Cast Cabinets

100.726

89.995

-2.864

35

#4

Ryan Hemphill*

Dodge

GEICO/Pet Brands

100.476

90.219

-3.088

36

#12

Tim Fedewa

Dodge

Goulds Pumps

100.259

90.414

-3.283

37

#25

Ashton Lewis

Ford

U.S. Marines

99.802

90.828

-3.697

38

#173

Eric Jones

Chevrolet

Red Cactus Salsa

99.753

90.872

-3.741

39

#52

Scott Gaylord

Ford

Means Racing

99.531

91.075

-3.944

40

#44

Justin Labonte

Chevrolet

U.S. Coast Guard

99.312

91.276

-4.145

41

#292

Alfredo Tame Jr.

Ford

IXELL/VOXip/RadioShack

99.003

91.561

-4.430

42

#34

Randy LaJoie

Chevrolet

Dollar General

98.308

92.208

-5.077

43

#265

Stan Silva Jr.

Chevrolet

A & S Metals/Stan Silva Trucking

97.691

92.791

-5.660

44

#49

Mara Reyes

Ford

Advil/Telmex/Sun Microsystems/AMD

97.364

93.102

-5.971

45

#23

Shawna Robinson

Chevrolet

Vassarette

96.518

93.918

-6.787

46

#16

Mark Montgomery

Chevrolet

31-W Insulation

90.798

99.835

-12.704

47

#24

Kim Crosby*

Chevrolet

Boudreaux's Butt Paste

90.670

99.976

-12.845

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