THIRD TRIP Raphael Matos makes his third career appearance at the Kentucky Speedway when the second year de Ferran Dragon driver takes the track for the Meier Indy 300. In his 2008 debut, Matos captured the pole and finished sixth in the Firestone...
Raphael Matos makes his third career appearance at the Kentucky Speedway when the second year de Ferran Dragon driver takes the track for the Meier Indy 300. In his 2008 debut, Matos captured the pole and finished sixth in the Firestone Indy Lights race in Sparta. Last year, he overcame a rough start on the opening lap to finish 16th.
RAFA ON KENTUCKY
"Kentucky is rougher than Chicago, while Chicago was more bumpy. Tire management will be more difficult in Kentucky because of the roughness and the nature of the track. It will be a challenging weekend because the field is extremely competitive and there are a lot of cars in the series right now. My target is top six. We had the car to finish top six in Chicago so that's what I'm basing it on."
RAFA ON SHORT WEEKEND
"It's a very short weekend like Chicago so we don't get a lot of track time. You basically try to work on the racecar right away because you have to have a good racecar otherwise you'll struggle really badly. Without a lot of track time we have to make a decision if we go to qualifying mode or if we work on the racecar. In Chicago we were focused on the racecar and racecar setup right away and I was confident. On these types of tracks driver confidence is very important."
The de Ferran Dragon racing team learned what bittersweet tastes like at the Peak Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. On the one hand, Davey Hamilton returned to his first mile and a half oval race in nine years and produced an inspiring run, while teammate Raphael Matos was taken into the wall in a chain reaction crash early in the race. Matos, who was celebrating his 29th birthday, got off to a promising start, climbing three spots to 15th in the first three laps. But on lap five, everything changed. A spinning Tomas Scheckter and several hard breaking cars in front of him left Matos with no where to go. He clipped the right rear of Alex Lloyd trying to avoid and was sent into the wall, ending his race before it really started. Hamilton's race day was much different than qualifying. He started 28th, but in the end improved 10 spots to finish 18th.
DAVEY ON HIS RETURN
"For being out of the car for nine years on a mile and a half oval I feel pretty good. Unfortunately we struggled quite a bit in qualifying and we didn't have the gearing in the race to compete with the main pack. But all things considered, the HP car was good. I felt more confident and comfortable as the race went on and could make choices on the track in traffic. I don't know the guys well enough so at times when I wanted to use the top line it got taken away and I had to stay low. That cost me a couple spots, but by the end I was using the top line and felt really competitive."
GIL ON DAVEY'S RETURN
"I'm very happy for Davey. He really did a great job. It's extremely difficult to race that close at over 200 miles an hour for full time drivers. For Davey to come in and do it after a long layoff is really remarkable. You could see him really get into the groove as the race went on."
-source: de ferran dragon racing