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Fernandez to Race Against Own Team

IndyCar team owner Adrian Fernandez will be competing against his own outfit at this year's Indianapolis 500, after confirming that he has agreed to return to the cockpit for the blue ribband event in a partnership with veteran boss Mo Nunn.

Fernandez found himself unable to raise the funds to continue driving in the Indy Racing League this season with his own outfit, but insisted from the start that he had not retired from full-time competition. And after making an appearance in the NASCAR Busch race at Mexico City earlier this month, Fernandez has now put a deal together with Nunn to form Nunn Fernandez Racing to take part in May's event.

Nunn stopped his team efforts at the end of 2004, after Toyota stopped its backing of Tora Takagi, but he was also looking for the right chance to make a comeback - and funding from real estate firm Investment Properties of America has brought the parties together to field a Panoz-Honda.

Fernandez said: "This [sponsorship] opportunity had happened earlier in the season, but I did not want to disrupt what we already had at Fernandez Racing.

"But when Morris' call came, it was different. I have always admired Morris as an engineer and later as a team owner, and with this, I'm not distracting Fernandez Racing. The chance was very attractive to us, and I think we'll be very strong."

Fernandez returned to the Indy 500 last year for the first since the 1996 CART/IRL split and eventually finished seventh after being competitive all month.

And when asked the obvious question, about the clashing loyalties of competing against his own team, he said: "It'll be just the same as I've been doing before, when I raced against Kosuke (Matsuura) last year.

"Of course we'll never do something that could damage each other's chances, but at the end of the day, we will be racers competing against each other."

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