IRL: Indy 500: Kosuke Matsuura preview

Matsuura Brings Momentum, Experience to Indy 500 Preparations The IndyCar Series returns to the famed Brickyard this week, as practice begins tomorrow for the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 28. Kosuke Matsuura has anxiously awaited...

Matsuura Brings Momentum, Experience to Indy 500 Preparations

The IndyCar Series returns to the famed Brickyard this week, as practice begins tomorrow for the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 28. Kosuke Matsuura has anxiously awaited his return to the 2.5-mile oval. In two prior appearances at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Matsuura consistently hovered at the top of the practice speed charts throughout the month of May. His performance led the rookie class in qualifying and finishing results in 2004, earning Matsuura Bank One Rookie of the Year honors. Last year Matsuura look poised for a top-seven finish, until an accident in the closing stages of the race ended his promising run.

A resident of Indianapolis, Matsuura has made a strong start to his 2006 IndyCar Series campaign with three top-seven finishes and a sixth-place ranking in the current championship standings. He is looking to carry that momentum to his adopted 'home' race.

Kosuke Matsuura [Kohs-kay Mat-sur-ah] -- At-A-Glance:

* Will be preparing for his third Indianapolis 500 appearance

* Has qualified in the top 10 in two starts at Indy -- eighth last year and ninth in 2004

* Was running seventh with 25 laps to go in the race last year when he was eliminated by contact

* Finished 11th in 2004, the highest finishing rookie of eight challengers

* Was named the 2004 Bank One Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year

* Earned 2004 American Dairy Association of Indiana Fastest Rookie of the Year honors

* Is one of only six Japanese drivers to have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Tora Takagi, Hiro Matsushita, Hideshi Matsuda, Shigeaki Hattori, Shinji Nakano)

* Best finish by a Japanese driver to date was fifth (Tora Takagi in 2003)

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

"This will be my third year to compete at the Indy 500. I feel very confident that we will have a great car for the Speedway, and that we will start out strong like we have done in the past. My goal is a top-five finish. I have more experience now, and I feel we will be able to challenge. Every driver dreams of winning this race. We have been pretty consistent so far this season, and we just need to keep building on our results. I have really enjoyed the month of May the past two years, and have been looking forward to the start of practice tomorrow. I hope we have a great month."

-www.superagurifernandezracing.net

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tora Takagi , Shinji Nakano , Kosuke Matsuura , Matsuda Hideshi