IRL: Texas: Kosuke Matsuura preview

Matsuura Hoping Third Time is Lucky at Texas Kosuke Matsuura has bittersweet memories of his time on the 1.5-mile high-banked challenge known as Texas Motor Speedway, the site of the sixth round of 2005 competition for the IRL IndyCar® Series....

Matsuura Hoping Third Time is Lucky at Texas

Kosuke Matsuura has bittersweet memories of his time on the 1.5-mile high-banked challenge known as Texas Motor Speedway, the site of the sixth round of 2005 competition for the IRL IndyCar® Series. A year ago this month, Matsuura impressed many in only his fifth IndyCar Series start by claiming a fourth-place starting position on the Fort Worth circuit and leading the first laps of his oval career. The elation of a strong run ended 50 laps shy of the checkered flag however when Matsuura retired with electrical problems.

Matsuura returned to Texas for the season finale in October with Bombardier Rookie of the Year honors on the line. The disappointment of an early retirement from the race with gearbox trouble was tempered as Matsuura held enough of a points advantage to walk away with the Rookie title.

* Will be preparing for his third appearance at Texas

* Claimed best starting position at Texas of fourth last June

* Was sidelined from finishing both 2004 Texas events due to mechanical problems (electrical and gearbox)

* Led the first laps of his IndyCar Series career at Texas last June

* Will be making his 22nd IndyCar Series career start

* Currently sits 12th in the championship standings, 18 points out of the top 10

* Best starting position to date this season was seventh in St. Petersburg

* Best finish to date this season was ninth in Japan

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

"I wasn't able to finish the races at Texas Motor Speedway last year because of mechanical problems. It was really disappointing because both times my car was very good. I know we will have a good setup again for this weekend, so my first goal is to finish the race. I went back to Japan right after the Indy 500 and I was able to relax and refresh my mind. I have a lot of confidence for this weekend."

KOSUKE MATSUURA FAST FACTS: Is in his second season of IndyCar Series competition-- earned 2004 Bombardier Rookie of the Year honors-- named 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-- 25 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