DEJA VU FOR DE FERRAN DRAGON RACING AS RAPHAEL MATOS' STEADY CLIMB IS SLOWED BY PIT MALFUNCTION IN IOWA CORN 250
NEWTON, IA (June 20, 2010) - For Raphael Matos and the de Ferran Dragon Racing team, the Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway was like dejà vu all over again.
For the second consecutive race, the team delivered a stronger racecar than qualifying car and Matos used it to improve seven positions to finish 14th, but had even bigger gains derailed by problems in the pits.
"The HP car ran well and we improved our position," de Ferran Dragon co- owner and race strategist Jay Penske said. "Rafa ran a good, smart race. Our finish might have been a bit better if we hadn't suffered the problem during one of the pit stops, but we had a good race."
Starting 21st, Matos had steady improvement from the start and jumped to 16th by the 37th lap, but trouble lurked when he came in under yellow on the 53rd lap. A leak in the team's air bottle wiped out the air pressure for the jack and three of the tire guns. A quick bottle change fixed the problem, but cost Matos a lap and three positions.
"The car ran well most of the race and we collected points, which is important," Matos said. "There is still a lot of the season to go. We had a mechanical issue during an early pit stop that hurt us a bit, but it was a good race overall."
Matos collected 16 points and remains 14th in the IZOD IndyCar Championship standings. Tony Kanaan won the race that featured 16 lead changes.
Though he struggled in qualifying, Matos predicted he would have a much more competitive racecar and the team delivered.
"The change we made to the car yesterday after qualifying really helped and we moved in the right direction," Matos said. "We are continuing to understand the data and improve the car, which is important for the future."
After four consecutive oval races, the series now shifts back to the road at Watkins Glen on July 4. The next five races will be on road and street courses.
-source: de ferran dragon racing