RAPHAEL MATOS' STRONG RUN SPOILED BY PIT STOP PROBLEM IN FIRESTONE 550 AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY FORT WORTH, TX (June 5, 2010) - Raphael Matos bounced back from a tough finish in the Indianapolis 500 by climbing seven positions to finish 16th in...
RAPHAEL MATOS' STRONG RUN SPOILED BY PIT STOP PROBLEM IN FIRESTONE 550 AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
FORT WORTH, TX (June 5, 2010) - Raphael Matos bounced back from a tough finish in the Indianapolis 500 by climbing seven positions to finish 16th in the IZOD IndyCar Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway. But it could have been better.
Matos, starting 23rd, climbed as high as 11th before trouble in the pits late in the race spoiled a potential top 10 run.
"It's always tough when you're starting 23rd, but Rafa ran a smart race," de Ferran Dragon co-owner Jay Penske said. "We had a tough night in the pits that cost us a few positions, but it was still a positive finish for the team. We look forward to the next race so we can start moving up the grid again."
Matos was running 12th when he came in for what was expected to be his final stop on lap 188, but he had to return to the pits on the following lap to check the right rear tire as a precaution. He fell a lap behind and dropped to 18th.
"We didn't have good speed in qualifying but I knew we would have a much better racecar," Matos said. "We were running in the top 15 all night and even though we lost a few spots in the end it was still a good comeback for the team."
Matos proved to have a competitive car right from the start as he improved two spots on the first lap, jumped to 18th on the 11th lap and was top 15 by lap 34. He made it as high as 11th on the 53rd lap and remained in the top 14 until the final stop.
"After that huge hit in Indy we needed to finish this race, that was the goal," Matos said. "We proved to be very competitive all night. You always want to finish higher, but overall I'm happy."
-source: de ferran dragon racing