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Fernandez to Pilot No. 5 Lowe's Car in Mexico City Nationwide Race

Will also drive in Long Beach American Le Mans Series Race on Same Weekend

Adrian Fernandez
Adrian Fernandez
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Feb. 5) – Lowe’s and Hendrick Motorsports announced today that Adrian Fernandez will drive the No. 5 Lowe’s car in the April 20 NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Mexico City.

Fernandez, 44, is Mexico’s most popular driver and one of its most popular athletes. He finished 10th, 12th, and ninth in the first three Mexico City Nationwide Series races in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

JR Motorsports, in partnership with Hendrick Motorsports, will field the No. 5 car.

“I am honored by this opportunity to represent Lowe’s, Hendrick Motorsports and NASCAR,” said Fernandez, who tested the Nationwide car on Nov. 20 at Sebring International Raceway. “I know race fans in Mexico grow more excited about this race each year. I think this race will continue to grow and prove how popular NASCAR is becoming outside of America.”

Fernandez will practice in the No. 5 car on Friday in Mexico City then turn driving duties over to David Green who will qualify the car on Saturday. Fernandez will miss Saturday’s events in Mexico while he is in Long Beach for the American Le Mans Series race that afternoon.

Fernandez will return to Mexico City on Sunday for the Nationwide race.

Hendrick Motorsports General Manager Marshall Carlson said Fernandez continues to grow more familiar with the full-bodied cars of NASCAR and that will show on the track in Mexico City.

“We expect Adrian to once again put on a great show for the wonderful fans in Mexico City,” Carlson said. “He has been very impressive the last three years and we expect a similar performance in 2008. Adrian is terrific to work with and we’re excited to watch him perform again. He’s going to have a very busy weekend.”

Lowe’s officials said sponsorship of Fernandez in the Mexico City race is an opportunity to reach out to race fans in Mexico, this following the company’s announcement to expand into Monterrey in 2009, while continuing to align itself with a talented driver and local hero.

“Lowe’s is proud to participate in NASCAR’s fourth race in Mexico with a world-class athlete in Adrian Fernandez,” said Bob Gfeller, Lowe’ senior vice president of marketing and advertising. “We are looking forward to a solid racing performance for Adrian and the Lowe’s team. Adrian is a real crowd pleaser both on and off the track.”

Fernandez is a familiar name to racing fans.

He 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 IndyCar Series where he won three races including two of the series’ final three events.

Fernandez then branched out into NASCAR and sports car racing. He competed in the Nationwide Series six times in 2005, twice in 2006 and once in 2007.

Lowe’s Fernandez Racing, formed in 2006, competed in a full season of Daytona Prototype competition in the Grand-Am Series. The team raced in the 2007 ALMS Series in LMP2 competition.

Fernandez and co-driver Luis Diaz, also of Mexico, will begin their second season of ALMS competition at the Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 15.

Fernandez is Mexico’s premier driver and nominated for Mexico’s National Sports Award – the 2004 Premio Nacional del Deporte – for his career achievements in auto racing. Fernandez won numerous awards including “Athlete of the Year” in Mexico and recognition at the Premios Fox Sports Awards for his contributions to Latin American auto racing.

He is more than just a race car driver. For the fourth time, a national magazine in Mexico acknowledged his popularity, naming him one of the 300 most influential people in the country. The July 2006 issue of Lideres Mexicanos again placed Fernandez on an accomplished list of his follow countrymen, joining leaders in numerous categories including science, culture, media, entertainment, sports, public opinion and business.

The Mexico City race is the only planned appearance for Fernandez in NASCAR in 2008. The 80-lap Mexico 200 at the 2.518-mile Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez road course marks one of three Nationwide Series road course events in 2008.

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