Luyendyk Jr. Drives to Fourth, Matos Eighth in AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing Debuts in Miami 100 HOMESTEAD, Fla. (March 29, 2008) -- AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing drivers Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Raphael Matos drove to fourth-...
Luyendyk Jr. Drives to Fourth, Matos Eighth in AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing Debuts in Miami 100
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (March 29, 2008) -- AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing drivers Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Raphael Matos drove to fourth- and eighth-place finishes, respectively, in Saturday's Miami 100, the first race of the 2008 Firestone Indy Lights season.
Matos started from the pole in his first-ever oval start in the series and led 18 of the first 21 laps before settling into second for the mid-stage of the race. Meanwhile, Luyendyk Jr. bolted from his 11th starting position and found his way to third by the 13th lap of the 67-lap event.
For both drivers, their final results were largely affected by the final restart on lap 60. With cooler tires, Luyendyk's #26 machine came to life as he drove from eighth to as high as third before finishing fourth. Matos on the other hand continued to deal with an understeering car and dropped from third to eighth in heavy traffic over the final seven laps.
Dillon Battistini took the win, followed by Richard Antinucci and Brent Sherman. Chris Festa rounded out the top five.
The second and third Firestone Indy Lights races of the season are next weekend at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg with one race slated for Saturday, April 5, and the other on Sunday, April 6.
Arie Luyendyk Jr., #26 Andretti Green Racing/AFS Racing Dallara/Firestone: "That long run in the middle of the race really killed me. I had worked my way up, but I had so much understeer that I could not go flat, and in traffic, it was almost impossible. The Andretti Green/AFS Racing car was good in the beginning of the race, so I knew that my only chance would be after the tires cooled down on the last restart. Fourth is pretty good considering we started 11th. The guys did a great job. It was just so tough. Those restarts were crazy, so I'm glad it worked out."
Raphael Matos, #27 AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing Dallara/Firestone: "It was a very disappointing day for me. I was expecting to finish on the podium. We had a very, very fast car in qualifying, but there was something that we missed today. I'm disappointed, but I've got to thank the whole AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing team. We've just got to go to St. Pete and put this race behind us. We just have to work harder and harder to make the car better and get better results."