TEAM NEWS: A Too Eventful Day for Lowe's Fernandez Racing in Utah

Photo by John Thawley The Lowe's Fernandez Racing driving team of Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz finished fifth in class and seventh overall in the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix after a pair of incidents dropped the duo from a strong run for the podium. Diaz, who started the race in third, fell to seventh on a wild start that completely reshuffled the front grid order. Diaz rebounded and, after several passes to work his way back to the front, was able to overtake the fellow Acura-powered car of Marino Franchitti on Lap 13 for the LMP2 class lead and third-place overall.

Diaz, running second overall, turned the controls of the #15 Lowe's Acura Lola over to Fernandez 70 minutes into the 2-hour 45-minute race during a green flag pit stop. Fernandez resumed in seventh position overall, fifth in class. He quickly worked his way up to second in class and fourth overall. It was after Fernandez's second scheduled pit stop for fuel and tires that the tables turned. With 40 minutes remaining, Fernandez had to return to the pits to replace a right rear tire after he was hit while passing a Ferrari GT car. He returned to the track fifth in class and seventh overall. With only five minutes remaining, Fernandez again fell victim to contact with a major off after being hit by a Porsche GT car. He managed the lengthy trip back to pit lane with the team ending the day five laps down.

The race will be broadcast on CBS at 1:00 pm ET tomorrow - Sunday, May 20.

Adrian Fernandez, #15 Lowe's Acura Lola:

"It was just one of those days. The two GT cars I was passing never saw me. The Ferrari hit me in my right rear when I was passing him. I'm sure he didn't see me. With the Porsche GT, I was completely beside him and he just never saw me. I wouldn't have done anything differently. It was one of those things. We just had no luck. We had a strong car, a car that I think was strong enough to win the race. Unfortunately everything went wrong in that respect."

Luis Diaz, #15 Lowe's Acura Lola:

"For me, it really was a tough day. At the start, I think a lot of people jumped before the green flag. I lost quite a few positions but our car was very good and I was able to fight. I went from seventh to second overall. I was able to pass the two Penske Porsches, Marino [Franchitti], Stefan [Johansson], [Chris] Dyson. I was very confident that we would have a good result. Unfortunately for us, some times the races are like this. The good thing about this weekend was that the team showed our potential once again. We still have seven races left that we can win, and I am very confident that we are going to win soon. We showed it today. Adrian was very quick at the end even with the car damaged. These races are very complicated and that's why when you win, it means so much. We will focus now on the second half of the season and I think we will be very strong."

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