Matsuura Claims 10th in Phoenix Kosuke Matsuura produced a strong showing for his second appearance at Phoenix International Raceway. Matsuura qualified 15th for this afternoon's XM Satellite Indy 200, and was racing in the top six by Lap 19 of...
Matsuura Claims 10th in Phoenix
Kosuke Matsuura produced a strong showing for his second appearance at Phoenix International Raceway. Matsuura qualified 15th for this afternoon's XM Satellite Indy 200, and was racing in the top six by Lap 19 of the 200-lap event. Matsuura kept pace with the lead pack throughout most of the day, running as high as third, but was hindered by the handling of his #55 Panasonic machine following the team's last pit stop of the day. His finish today moves Matsuura into 12th-place in the championship standings, just four points out of the top 10.
Kosuke Matsuura, #55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz/Honda/Firestone:
"It was a really difficult race. After 120 laps, I was really competitive out there and the car was so good. After the second stint, I was able to run in fifth place with no problem staying with the other drivers. After our third pit stop, it looks like we had a tire problem. The right rear tire lost a lot of grip and the last run was terrible. I almost spun many times but I saved it. I finished in 10th place, which is not a bad result. I think we improved a lot on the one-mile oval tracks. I am looking forward to the St. Petersburg race."
Tom Anderson, Managing Director:
"I am really proud of the Panasonic team and Kosuke's driving today. I think he did an exceptional job. The crew made outstanding pit stops. We chased a handling problem late in the race and probably didn't make a correction quick enough after our last stop which forced us to put tires on at the end. I am very, very pleased with the way we ran Phoenix this year. It was a big improvement over last year. There was a lot of learning that took place this weekend, and I am very pleased with the results. It is a tough little race track and we enjoyed coming here. We are looking forward to carrying our momentum with two cars in the top ten today onto St. Petersburg."
Adrian Fernandez, Team Owner:
"Well, this is the first time that I am behind the scenes with the team. Apart from the hiccup we had with the fuel [fuel mechanism malfunctioned during Sharp's first pit stop], it went pretty smooth. To be honest, now I realize why I won so many races because I have such a good team and a good organization. They are very good and really on it. It is interesting to see what happens behind the scenes when you are not driving and the guys are really on top of everything. I am very proud of them and I am very proud of Scott and the job that he is doing. I am also very proud of Kosuke [Matsuura]. I think this is one of his best one-mile oval races and this will boost his confidence. It is a shame for him that on the last set of tires the car went loose for some reason when we didn't change anything. He drove really well. Everyone worked really hard. We had two cars in the top ten which is a good result for us especially after what happened in Homestead. It is good for Kosuke. He realized what happened, and put his head down and drove hard and clean. For me, I feel like a little dog with no bone, but I am very proud of the guys, and I'm enjoying time with my wife, Catalina, right now and having fun seeing the team running really well."