Fernandez Battles Back

JOLIET, Ill. - Adrian Fernandez scored his second career Indy Racing League victory in the last three starts on Sunday with a victory in the Delphi Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Fernandez had to overcome an early race mishap when his air jack broke. His team was forced to use a manual jack for tire changes the rest of the race. But despite losing time because of the setback, Fernandez was able to hold off Bryan Herta by .716 of a second for the victory.

“We are very excited, and I’m happy for everybody on the team,” Fernandez said. “Especially with adversity today, when the air jacks broke. So they had to get the manual air jacks and get the car up. At that point, I knew that we were not going to win the race. I knew I had a car able to win the race, but with the pit stops, there was no way.

“So we had to be smart and at some stages in the race. I was just sitting back, just trying to see how the race was going to develop. Sometimes there’s no point when you see the leader, basically ahead of you with a bunch of cars, sometimes it’s not worth it just fighting all the time there when you put yourself in a risky situation all the time. So we decided to stay back a little bit and see how everything started progressing.

“With all of the effort the engineers have done, we had a fast car and that’s why we won.”

Series point leader Tony Kanaan finished third and took one step closer to the IndyCar Series championship with only two races left in the season.

The race was marred by several spins and incidents with the most severe involving Indy 500 winner Buddy Rice and rookie Darren Manning. Rice clipped the front of Manning's car on lap 185 as the field race down the backstretch. Rice's car slid sideways before flipping into the air and landing upside down. The car slid down the length of the backstretch before finally coming to rest in turn three. The safety crew was instantly on the scene in after righting the car, Rice climbed uninjured from the cockpit.

Dan Wheldon finished fourth to give Andretti Green Racing a sweep of the two to four spots. Vitor Meira rounded out the Top 5.

The Indy Racing League now travels to California Speedway on Sunday, October 3.

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Auto Club 500

@ Auto Club Speedway
Saturday, October 19, 2013
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