Milwaukee: Luczo Dragon Racing preview

FIRST TIMER Luczo Dragon Racing will make its first ever appearance at the Milwaukee Mile, while rookie driver Raphael Matos makes his second start on the track. After competing in just one race in 2007 and six in 2008, Luczo Dragon will be a...

FIRST TIMER
Luczo Dragon Racing will make its first ever appearance at the Milwaukee Mile, while rookie driver Raphael Matos makes his second start on the track. After competing in just one race in 2007 and six in 2008, Luczo Dragon will be a first timer at 12 tracks, including St. Petersburg, Long Beach, Milwaukee, Iowa, Richmond, Watkins Glen, Toronto, Edmonton, Kentucky, Mid-Ohio, Twin Ring Motegi and Homestead. Matos has raced on all but Motegi.

BOUNCING BACK
Raphael Matos suffered a bruised right knee and a headache in the accident with Vitor Meira on lap 173 of the 2009 Indianapolis 500. X-rays taken trackside proved to be negative and Matos was prescribed an ice and rest rehab routine. He returned to Miami Tuesday to begin the recovery process. "Right now my plan is to get back to my normal routine of working out, eating well and going to the Go-Kart track as soon as possible. I will see how my knee feels first. Once I feel it is 100 percent I will resume everything like normal."

STRONG ROOKIE
He may not have claimed the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year award, but Raphael Matos clearly had the strongest month of May for all rookies in Indianapolis. Aside from his Fastest Rookie Award and consistency during practice, Matos ran with the race leaders for most of the race. After starting 12th, the 27-year old Brazilian climbed to 8th after two laps, jumped to 6th on lap 57 and was 4th by lap 64. He remained in the top five for the next 71 laps. The former Indy Lights champ ran no lower than 7th for 111 laps (24-135). A wheel nut stuck in the gun on the team's fifth pit stop on lap 134 dropped Matos from 5th to 20th and quick stop for a splash of gas five laps later put him in 21st. Matos made up seven spots in just 20 laps. The strong run came to an end with the devastating crash with Vitor Meira.

RAFA'S MILWAUKEE SCOUTING REPORT
"Milwaukee is a track I really like. I was very fast there last year and finished third in Indy Lights. I think it will be a good place for us. It is a track where the driver can make a little more of a difference because it is more technical and challenging than the high banking, flat out ovals."

CATCHING UP WITH VITOR
"I talked with Vitor and his wife a few hours after the race (Indy 500) and I went to see him. My family did not tell me anything about him because they knew I would be upset. When I called him his wife answered the phone and she was on her way to the hospital. I talked to him a little later and he told me he was out for the season. That really hurt me. I have so much respect for Vitor. He is my friend and I know how hard he works and how dedicated he is. I know that it's part of racing, but it hurts a lot knowing he won't be out there."

NEW PAINT SCHEME
Luczo Dragon will unveil the new #2 Marines car in Milwaukee. It will be the first of nine races carrying the USMC colors and Eagle, Anchor and Globe emblem. Aside from Milwaukee, LDR is scheduled to run the new Marines car in Iowa, Richmond, Watkins Glen, Toronto, Edmonton, Ohio and Infineon

-credit: ldr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Vitor Meira
Teams Dragon Racing