RAPHAEL MATOS REMAINS IN THE TOP 10 OF IZOD INDYCAR STANDINGS WITH 16TH PLACE FINISH AT ROAD RUNNER TURBO INDY 300 IN KANSAS KANSAS CITY, KS (May 1, 2010) - Raphael Matos continued to display his maturity as a driver from rookie season to year...
RAPHAEL MATOS REMAINS IN THE TOP 10 OF IZOD INDYCAR STANDINGS WITH 16TH PLACE FINISH AT ROAD RUNNER TURBO INDY 300 IN KANSAS
KANSAS CITY, KS (May 1, 2010) - Raphael Matos continued to display his maturity as a driver from rookie season to year two by managing his way with a struggling car and windy conditions to a 16th place finish at the Road Runner Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway.
It was the first time for Matos and the Luczo Dragon/de Ferran Motorsports team to complete the race in Kansas. Scott Dixon captured the checkered flag, his first win of the season.
"We missed the setup today, but Rafa did a great job keeping things together and finishing the race," Luczo Dragon/de Ferran Motorsports race strategist and co-owner Jay Penske said. "Rafa has shown a lot of maturity this season. We didn't have a great car today, but he continues to finish and keep us in the top 10."
Starting 13th, Matos climbed as high as 10th on lap four but saw the early improvement slip away as quickly as he captured it as he struggled with the back end of the car.
"We thought we would have a car that could be competitive in the race, but it was just one of those days," Matos said. "The car had a certain behavior in the beginning of the race and even though I was able to adjust some things in the cockpit it never was right. I had many close calls, many moments, but I was focused on bringing the car home. That was very important because we haven't finished here before and we had to have two perfect cars heading to Indy."
Last year, Matos failed to finish four of the first seven races, including Kansas where he struggled with the wind and made contact with the wall on lap 98. Determined to change that trend, he has now finished 15 consecutive races, the third longest current streak in the IZOD IndyCar series.
"We're in the top 10 and we have finished every race this season and that's a big accomplishment, especially after the tough start last year." Matos said. "It's only my second year and seat time is very valuable. I'm getting great experience, learning every race and gaining more and more confidence as we finish these races."
Matos is now tied for 10th in the series standings with 98 points heading into the Indianapolis 500. He will be joined by a second car and teammate Davey Hamilton at the pre-Indy test in Kentucky May 4.
-source: de ferran motorsports