Adrian Fernandez will make his 150th career Champ Car start from the seventh row of the grid for Sunday's Bridgestone Grand Prix of Monterey after dropping three places from his overnight top ten slot.

Fernandez' qualifying lap of 70.449 seconds (114.364 mph) was not enough to improve the starting position of the #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Lola-Honda from Friday's provisional session.

Shinji Nakano's set-up struggles continued through qualifying. He managed a best lap of 71.319 seconds (112.687 mph) aboard the #52 Alpine/Mitsuba Lola-Honda, placing him 18th on the grid.

"We improved but not enough to improve our position from yesterday, and we actually lost a few positions," said Fernandez. "It's very disappointing. We are not where we thought we would be on the grid. I made some mistakes in my qualifying run. I tried to back off [to get a clear lap] and then we had traffic. That's the chance you take when you go out at the end [of the session]. We were able to put a lap together at the very end, but I already had the best out of the tires and we couldn't improve.

"Tomorrow is another day and hopefully we will have a good day. It's going to be difficult to pass, so pit stops are going to play a big part. I think the car is good so we just have to make sure the pit stops are as well so we can make up some positions."

With Laguna Seca being a notoriously difficult circuit to pass around both Fernandez Racing drivers are facing Sunday's 87-lap event knowing they have a tough task ahead of them.

"Today wasn't a good day for us," added Nakano. "We just couldn't find a good set-up, and we are still struggling with oversteer in the car. We will work on this tonight and, hopefully, find a better set-up for tomorrow. We just have to keep working."

 

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