IRL: Nashville: SAFR, Matsuura Friday report

Matsuura Lines Up 14th in Nashville Kosuke Matsuura [Kohs-kay Mat-sur-ah] will start alongside teammate Adrian Fernandez on Row Seven of the grid for Saturday's Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway. The Bombardier Rookie of the Year ...

Matsuura Lines Up 14th in Nashville

Kosuke Matsuura [Kohs-kay Mat-sur-ah] will start alongside teammate Adrian Fernandez on Row Seven of the grid for Saturday's Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway. The Bombardier Rookie of the Year points leader will be making his eighth IRL IndyCar® Series start in the final night race of the 2004 season. Matsuura will be looking for a change of fortune in the 200-lap race after being sidelined with mechanical problems and contact in two of the last three events.

Weather: 78 F under mostly cloudy skies for the opening of practice; temperatures rising to 82 F for the second practice session held with overcast skies and winds out of the west at 9 mph; temperatures at 81 F for MBNA Pole Qualifying.

Practice Recap: Matsuura claimed the 10th-fastest time in opening practice with a best lap of 23.7586 196.981 mph; in the second of two 45-minute practice sessions prior to MBNA Pole Qualifying, Matsuura improved with a best lap of 23.6011 198.296 mph and was shown 13th-quickest overall.

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

"The car feels quite good but still we are missing two mph from the fastest times. We are losing somewhere. Two miles [per hour] is a really big gap because this track is flat all the way around. Fortunately we know we have a good car for the race and, with 200 laps, race strategy can make a big difference. Hopefully we will have a good result. The track is very difficult. All the way around, it is very bumpy."

FAST FACTS: Will be making his eighth IRL IndyCar Series career start-- currently leads the Bombardier Rookie of the Year standings by 29 points-- currently sits 15th in the championship point standings, 26 points out of the top 10-- claimed best starting position to date of fourth at Texas and Japan-- posted best finishing position to date of eighth in Japan-- 24 years old from Aichi, Japan-- began his career in karts at the age of 14-- finished third in the 2003 Formula Renault V6 Eurocup-- finished second in the 2002 German Formula 3 Championship-- won the 2000 Japanese Formula Dream Series Championship before heading to Europe in 2001 to compete in German F3-- has been a member of Co-Owner Aguri Suzuki's ARTA (Autobacs Racing Team Aguri) driver development project since 1998 after climbing up the Japanese karting ranks--currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana.

-safr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Kosuke Matsuura , Aguri Suzuki