Matsuura to Start in Row Seven at Texas

Kosuke Matsuura has qualified 14th for his third appearance at Texas Motor Speedway. Saturday's Bombardier Learjet 500 will mark the first night race of the 2005 IRL IndyCar Series season, but Matsuura will be looking at another first this weekend -- his first finish on the 1.5-mile oval after strong runs at Texas ended prematurely last year due to mechanical problems.

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

"I was expecting to be towards the front but, unfortunately, we are in the seventh row after qualifying in 14th position. This is just qualifying and it is the race that is important. My car feels pretty good but we just didn't have the speed in qualifying. This is a long race and we are focusing on Saturday."

KOSUKE MATSUURA FAST FACTS: 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-- 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.