IRL: Fontana: Kosuke Matsuura preview

Matsuura Looking to End Season Strong Kosuke Matsuura's second year of IndyCar Series competition will come to a close this weekend with the season finale at California Speedway, and Matsuura will be looking to end the year on a high note. With...

Matsuura Looking to End Season Strong

Kosuke Matsuura's second year of IndyCar Series competition will come to a close this weekend with the season finale at California Speedway, and Matsuura will be looking to end the year on a high note. With a pair of sixth-place finishes in the past three events and seven top-10 results to date this season, Matsuura exudes confidence as he prepares for only his fourth two-mile oval start.

Matsuura has endured a series of misfortunes this season, losing valuable championship points after being sidelined in four of the last nine events with a water leak (Kansas), contact with an official vehicle (Nashville) and collected in a late-race accident (Michigan) -- all while running in the top 10. His most recent retirement came at Chicagoland after running over debris from an incident. He currently sits five points out of 11th in the championship.

* Will be making his second career start at Fontana and fourth two-mile oval start

* Started 20th (due to an engine change) and finished 13th at Fontana last year

* Finished sixth in the last event held at Watkins Glen matching his 2005 best

* Highest starting position this year was seventh on the St. Petersburg street circuit

* Has claimed seven top-10 finishes to date this season

* Currently sits 13th in the championship standings, five points out of 11th

* Was the 2004 IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year

Kosuke Matsuura, #55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz/Honda/Firestone:

"I cannot believe it is already the end of the 2005 season. Adrian [Fernandez] won the race at California Speedway last year and, hopefully, I will be able to bring home a win this year. I still haven't won a race this season and, as I have been saying this whole year, I will do my best this Sunday. Hopefully, I will be able to finish the season smiling."

KOSUKE MATSUURA FAST FACTS: Will be making his 33rd IndyCar Series career start-- is in his second season of IndyCar Series competition-- earned 2004 Bombardier Rookie of the Year honors-- named 2004 Bank One Rookie of the Year at the Indianapolis 500-- recorded his IndyCar Series career-best finish of fourth at Kentucky Speedway last season, and claimed his career-best starting position of second at Michigan in 2004-- 26 years old from Aichi, Japan-- finished third in the 2003 Formula Renault V6 Eurocup Championship with three wins and eight podiums-- finished second in German F3 competition in 2002 with two wins and six pole positions-- won the 2000 Japanese Formula Dream Championship with six wins and eight pole positions-- currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana.

-www.superagurifernandezracing.net

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Kosuke Matsuura