2009 IRL Team Reports: Luczo-Dragon Racing

IRL Team reports for the 2009 IRL season

Moderator: mlittle

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

2009 IRL Team Reports: Luczo-Dragon Racing

Postby mlittle » Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:00 am

----FAST FACTS RAPHAEL MATOS
Residence: Miami, FL
Nickname: Rapha
Years in IndyCar: First

Car Wins: 19
Car Championships: (6) 2008 Firestone Indy Lights, 2008 GT Cars Rolex 24, 2007 ChampCar Atlantic, 2005 Star Mazda Pro Series, 2003 Formula Dodge National Championship, 2001 Chevrolet Formula Junior


~~~SUCCESS IN ST. PETE

While he will be making his IndyCar Series debut for Luczo Dragon Racing, driver Raphael Matos has enjoyed a great deal of success on the streets of St. Petersburg. The 27-year old Brazilian has won three of the four times he has raced in St. Petersburg, including back-to-back wins in his very first Firestone Indy Lights races in 2006. Matos' other win in St. Pete came last year when he claimed the Indy Lights pole and held the lead from start to finish.

ROOKIE RAPHA

The 2009 IndyCar season marks the fifth time Raphael Matos has been a rookie in an American racing series. He has proven to be quite competitive in each of his debut seasons. Matos was Skip Barber Rookie of the Year after winning the Formula Dodge National Shootout in 2002. He was a Star Mazda series rookie in 2004, finishing seventh in the standings despite not starting until week two. He claimed one pole at Mosport and had a season-best second place finish at Road America that year. Matos made the jump to the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Series in 2006 and finished fourth in the point standings for the Sierra Sierra team. He recorded one win (San Jose), three poles, four podium finishes and was second in laps led. With Andretti Green Racing in 2008, Matos secured the Firestone Indy Lights crown with three wins, eight top 5s and 13 top 10s. He led the league in poles (5), top 10 finishes (13), laps led (190) and races led (5).

RAPHA'S ST. PETE SCOUTING REPORT

"St. Pete is one of my favorite tracks. It is quite bumpy, all types of corners, good passing zone in the end of the front straight, beautiful area and a lots of fans. This is one of my favorites events. I won 3 out of 4 Indy Light races there and had 2 pole positions."

RAPHA'S TAKE ON TESTING

"It was extremely important. It was my first chance to work with the car. I'm still learning about the car, learning about the set up the car and our team environment. I have been able to work on my communication with our engineers, that chemistry is so important. We have all learned a lot in a short period that will help us as the season starts."

RAPHA ON SEBRING TEST

"Sebring was very important for us because it will help us prepare for St. Pete and Long Beach. It was a great simulation of those tracks. It's very bumpy there so now we have an idea of what we'll face at St. Pete and we learned our strengths and weaknesses on street course conditions. We will use all that data from Sebring and put together a good package for St. Pete."

LDR PIT CREW ASSIGNMENTS

Race strategist Jay Penske; Engineer Ray Leto; Engineer/Fuel data Brian Page; Data engineer/Fuel deadman Daniel Louks; Chief Mechanic/outside front John Piccinotti; Inside front Josh Junge; Outside rear Rob Maxey; Inside rear Tim White; Jackman Pete Bloathner; Fueler James Stevens; Front tire pass Simon Morley; Rear tire pass Scott Simpson; Stop Sign John Cummiskey; Front hose pull Darren Newport; Spotter Cole Carter
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:12 am

~~~U.S. MARINE CORPS AND U.S. AIR FORCE JOIN LUCZO DRAGON RACING FOR 2009 INDYCAR SEASON

The United States Marine Corps and United States Air Force have partnered with Luczo Dragon Racing to support the #2 car throughout the 2009 IndyCar season.

The Marines decal and Eagle, Globe and Anchor emblem were placed on the car between the Friday practice sessions in St. Petersburg. The Air Force will alternate with the Marines as Luczo Dragon's primary partner throughout the season.

"We are so honored to have the #2 Luczo Dragon car represent the United States Marines Corps and United States Air Force throughout the IndyCar season," Luczo Dragon Racing co-owner Jay Penske said. "For us to even be considered to run those two brands next to ours is a tremendous honor. They both epitomize strength, commitment and preparation. Our team will be determined to uphold those same characteristics and competitiveness."

"I am honored to drive #2 car and represent the United States Marine Corps and Air Force," Raphael Matos said. "I live in Miami and I have the utmost respect and appreciation for everything the Marines and Air Force do to protect our freedom here in the United States."
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:02 am

LONG BEACH RUN

Raphael Matos may be an IndyCar Series rookie, but he is quite familiar with the streets of Long Beach. Matos started from the pole position and won the Imperial Capital Bank Atlantic Challenge at the Long Beach Grand Prix in 2007. He collected 34 points with the flag-to-flag victory, leading all 31 laps and recording the event's fastest lap (1:16.554/92.546 mph). It was the second of three consecutive races Matos would win to start the 2007 Atlantic season. He went on to win the series championship with 341 points for Sierra Sierra Enterprises. In his very first race at Long Beach as an Atlantic rookie in 2006, Matos qualified third and finished runner up to Andreas Wirth by just .840 of a second.

ARMED FORCES PARTNERS

The United States Marine Corps and United States Air Force have partnered with Luczo Dragon Racing to support the #2 car throughout the 2009 IndyCar season. In addition, Luczo Dragon will focus its annual charity drive on organizations that support fallen heroes and their families. LDR ran the #2 Marines car in St. Petersburg and will run the Air Force car in the next three races: Long Beach, Kansas and the Indianapolis 500. They will return to the Marines car in Milwaukee.

RAFA'S LONG BEACH SCOUTING REPORT

"Great event, very traditional and fun track. The hairpin right before the front straight is probably the most difficult part of the track. That corner is very slow and tight and you need to get a good exit speed otherwise you are going to loose on the whole straightway. I really enjoy Long Beach. I had the pole position and won a Champ Car Atlantic race there in 2007."

COMPARING LONG BEACH AND ST. PETE

"They are quite different. Long Beach is much bumpier and that's the biggest difference. The aerodynamics of the car should be similar to St. Pete and the level of grip is a bit better in Long Beach. It is very difficult to pass so you will need a good and consistent car and a good qualifying position."

ST. PETE SUMMARY

While the race in St. Petersburg did not deliver the results the Luczo Dragon team had hoped for, there were several encouraging signs before the collision with Danica Patrick. After two difficult days of practice, the team adjusted and put together a car that helped Raphael Matos qualify ninth. Matos jumped from ninth to sixth in the very first turn, but debris from the first turn accident between Graham Rahal and Tony Kanaan slashed his right front tire and forced an early pit stop on lap three, dropping Matos to 16th. Undeterred, Matos went to work, making six passes from laps 4-31, the third best improvement of the day, trailing only Rahal and Kanaan, who made up nine positions each.

LDR PIT CREW ASSIGNMENTS

ROOKIE RAFA

The 2009 IndyCar season marks the fifth time Raphael Matos has been a rookie in an American racing series. He has proven to be quite competitive in each of his debut seasons. Matos was Skip Barber Rookie of the Year after winning the Formula Dodge National Shootout in 2002. He was a Star Mazda series rookie in 2004, finishing seventh in the standings despite not starting until week two. He claimed one pole at Mosport and had a season-best second place finish at Road America that year. Matos made the jump to the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Series in 2006 and finished fourth in the point standings for the Sierra Sierra team. He recorded one win (San Jose), three poles, four podium finishes and was second in laps led. With Andretti Green Racing in 2008, Matos secured the Firestone Indy Lights crown with three wins, eight top 5s and 13 top 10s. He led the league in poles (5), top 10 finishes (13), laps led (190) and races led (5).
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:04 pm

Raphael Matos Statement
on Helio's Acquittal............


~~~On Helio Castroneves

"I ran into the other day on my way home from the gym. He was in his suit with his sister and must have just left the courthouse. He looked so worried and tired. I am extremely happy for him and I'm happy to be racing against him. He's someone I have admired and respected for so long. It must be a great relief for him and his family. It will be great to have him back on the track so that we can put on a great show for American fans and Brazilians back home."
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:23 am

ABBRIEVIATED HISTORY
Both Luczo Dragon Racing and Raphael Matos have made one appearance at Kansas Speedway and neither went according to plan. In its first race of the 2008 season and only its second ever, LDR qualified fourth in Kansas with Tomas Scheckter behind the wheel. They climbed as high as second before a Marty Roth miscue in the pits set them back. Scheckter climbed back into the top 10 but contact with E.J. Viso on lap 97 ended the day early. Matos made his lone appearance in Kansas in Indy Lights in 2008. After qualifying second, Matos had his lowest finish of the season when a collision landed him in the 19th spot.

RAFA'S KANSAS SCOUTING REPORT
"Kansas is a 1.5 mile oval and will be flat out, very close racing. In Indy Lights we ran three wide there at times. We'll get a lot of side-by-side racing. I'm very excited. We tested the car in Texas and we were extremely quick. The tracks are similar, the speed is similar and aerodynamics are similar so the feeling we had for the car should help us with our set up."

RAFA'S OVAL DEBUT
"I have a lot to learn and really need to listen to the engineers. They have much more experience on ovals than me. I have more experience on the street courses so I can provide more input, but on the ovals I really need to listen closely to them in order to improve the car. Everything is going to be new, getting up to speed after pit stops, how much to push coming in and out of the pits, especially when the tires are cold. I have experience in Indy Lights, but everything is going to be a learning experience."

LONG BEACH RECAP
Matos started third and finished eighth at the Long Beach Grand Prix. He moved into second place on the first lap and took the lead on the 17th lap before pitting on 19. He gave Luczo Dragon Racing its first top 10 finish since finishing fifth at the 2007 Indianapolis 500. Matos recorded 24 points for the effort and climbed five spots to 15th in the standings.

BEACH BESTS
The Luczo Dragon Racing Team enjoyed some memorable moments during their weekend at the Long Beach Grand Prix. On Saturday they locked down their best ever qualifying position when Matos clocked a 1:10.2043 at 100.917 mph on his final lap to grab third behind Will Power and Dario Franchitti. It was one spot better than the previous team high of fourth by Tomas Scheckter in Kansas last year. The milestones continued on race day. They finished P1 in the final practice session of the weekend, their first ever top practice finish. Matos recorded a time of 1:10.9733 (99.823 mph) on his 18th lap to grab the top spot. During the race, Matos recorded the first laps led (2) in team history when he passed Will Power after lap 16. He relinquished the lead when he pitted on lap 19.

RAFA ON LONG BEACH
"Overall it was a good week for us. We made a lot of improvements as a team. We were disappointed in where we finished because we had a much better car than an eighth place car. But we were encouraged by what we accomplished as a team. We will now turn our attention to Kansas, my first oval race."

LDR PIT CREW ASSIGNMENTS
Race strategist Jay Penske; Engineer Ray Leto; Engineer/Fuel data Brian Page; Data engineer/Fuel deadman Daniel Louks; Chief Mechanic/outside front John Piccinotti; Inside front Josh Junge; Outside rear Rob Maxey; Inside rear Tim White; Jackman Pete Bloathner; Fueler James Stevens; Front tire pass Simon Morley; Rear tire pass Scott Simpson; Stop Sign John Cummiskey; Front hose pull Darren Newport; Spotter Cole Carter

LUCZO DRAGON CAR SCHEDULE
MARINES: St. Petersburg, Milwaukee, Texas, Iowa, Richmond, Watkins Glen, Toronto, Edmonton, Ohio, Infineon
AIR FORCE: Long Beach, Kansas, Indianapolis 500, Kentucky, Chicago, Motegi, Japan, Miami

ROOKIE RAFA
The 2009 IndyCar season marks the fifth time Raphael Matos has been a rookie in an American racing series. He has proven to be quite competitive in each of his debut seasons. Matos was Skip Barber Rookie of the Year after winning the Formula Dodge National Shootout in 2002. He was a Star Mazda series rookie in 2004, finishing seventh in the standings despite not starting until week two. He claimed one pole at Mosport and had a season-best second place finish at Road America that year. Matos made the jump to the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Series in 2006 and finished fourth in the point standings for the Sierra Sierra team. He recorded one win (San Jose), three poles, four podium finishes and was second in laps led. With Andretti Green Racing in 2008, Matos secured the Firestone Indy Lights crown with three wins, eight top 5s and 13 top 10s. He led the league in poles (5), top 10 finishes (13), laps led (190) and races led (5).

CHARITY DRIVE
By partnering with a dozen champion athletes each of the last two years, Luczo Dragon Racing has established a unique charity drive that has delivered more than $1 million to charitable organizations Worldwide. With the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps as their primary partners in 2009, much of the team's charitable focus will turn to organizations that support fallen heroes and their families. The LDR community development program was designed by team co-owners Steve Luczo and Jay Penske to raise money, increase exposure to the sport of auto racing and encourage a philanthropic spirit that inspires others to make an impact in their communities.

CHAMPIONS CHARITIES
The beneficiaries of the Luczo Dragon profit donation program have been: Always Dream Foundation (Kristi Yamaguchi), All Stars Helping Kids (Marcus Allen, Ronnie Lott), Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative (Brandi Chastain), Chase the Stars Foundation (Kerri Walsh), Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Indiana Chapter (Rick Mears), Donovan McNabb Foundation (Donovan McNabb), Fisher House, Colorado Chapter (John Elway), Four Rings Montana Family Foundation (Joe Montana), Jackson Community College Foundation Wilbur Dungy Endowment (Tony Dungy), Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation (Joe Torre), Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (Sugar Ray Leonard), Northern California Special Olympics/Camp Okizu (Chris Mullin), Serena Williams Foundation (Serena Williams), Sports4Kids (Natalie Coughlin), Steve Nash Foundation (Steve Nash), Success Through the Arts Foundation (Jackson Browne), Team Play (Baron Davis), The B'Leaf Team ALS Patient Care (Joe Thornton), Turtle Ridge Foundation (Bode Miller), UNESCO (Venus Williams), Wayne Gretzky Foundation (Wayne Gretzky), Women's Sports Foundation (Laila Ali).

STAR POWER
To say Luczo Dragon's charity team of champions has been successful is an understatement. Combined, the 2007 and 2008 Luczo Dragon Racing team of champions have won 13 Super Bowls, 17 Olympic Gold Medals, 37 Grand Slam victories, 12 World Championships, 11 World Cups, 14 Wimbledon titles, five World Series titles, four Stanley Cups, four Indy 500 championships, eight US Open crowns, 17 League MVPs, five Super Bowl MVPs, one Heisman Trophy, 12 Hall of Fame inductions and more than 100 All-Star team selections.
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Tue May 05, 2009 11:23 am

INDY 500 QUALIFYING HISTORY

Raphael Matos will attempt to keep Luczo Dragon's perfect Indianapolis 500 Pole Day qualifying record intact. In two previous appearances at the Indy 500, Luczo Dragon has qualified seventh and 11th to land in the first day field. In their only race in 2007, Ryan Briscoe qualified seventh at 224.410 mph, while Tomas Scheckter grabbed the final spot in 2008 with a 223.496 average speed.

ROOKIE RUN

Raphael Matos joins Stanton Barrett, Mike Conway and Robert Doornbos as the four rookies in the field at the 2009 Indianapolis 500. Doornbos has the early lead in the rookie point standings with Matos running second. The foursome will enter the Indy 500 Rookie Orientation Program with first practice set for Tuesday, May 5 from 2-5 p.m. The second practice session will be Wednesday, May 6 from 9-2 p.m. Upon completion of the program they will join the rest of the field for practice from 2-6 p.m. Will Power was the fastest rookie in the first session in 2008, while Alex Lloyd claimed the top spot in the second rookie practice. Ryan Hunter-Reay was the 2008 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year.

ROOKIE RAFA

The 2009 IndyCar season marks the fifth time Raphael Matos has been a rookie in an American racing series. He has proven to be quite competitive in each of his debut seasons. Matos was Skip Barber Rookie of the Year after winning the Formula Dodge National Shootout in 2002. He was a Star Mazda series rookie in 2004, finishing seventh in the standings despite not starting until week two. He claimed one pole at Mosport and had a season- best second place finish at Road America that year. Matos made the jump to the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Series in 2006 and finished fourth in the point standings for the Sierra Sierra team. He recorded one win (San Jose), three poles, four podium finishes and was second in laps led. With Andretti Green Racing in 2008, Matos secured the Firestone Indy Lights crown with three wins, eight top 5s and 13 top 10s. He led the league in poles (5), top 10 finishes (13), laps led (190) and races led (5).

ROOKIE QUALIFYING

Being a rookie does not mean you have to struggle at the Indianapolis 500. Over the last 10 races (1999-2008), there have been two rookies who have won the race and 12 who have qualified in the top 10. Juan Pablo Montoya became the first rookie to win the race in 34 years when he claimed the title in 2000. Helio Castroneves made it back-to-back rookie winners with the first of his two Indy 500 titles in 2001. Montoya has the highest starting position (2nd) for a rookie in the last 10 years, while Tony Kanaan's 230.253 mph in 2002 is the fastest qualifying speed by a rookie since 1999. Scott Dixon qualified with an average speed of 230.099 in 2003 to rank second. The 2003 race featured four rookies starting in the top 10 - Dixon (4th), Dan Wheldon (5th), Tora Takagi (7th) and Tony Renna (8th).

RAFA'S INDY LIGHTS EXPERIENCE AT IMS

"My experience in Indy Lights last year should help a little bit because I've been on the track and have run behind people. Qualifying is similar and I have a sense for what the car is supposed to feel like. I've had a lot of track time there so it should help a little bit."

RAFA'S INDY SCOUTING REPORT

"Turn 1 is the toughest because it's blind, you're going really fast and there's a change of elevation on entry. Indy is an oval but it's more like a road course because you need the car to handle really well to be flat out or close to flat out all the way around the track. With the other ovals like Kansas and Kentucky, there's a lot of banking, but at Indy there's almost no banking."

RAFA'S INDY 500 MOMENT

"My greatest memory of the Indy 500 is standing on the grid five minutes before the race last year and seeing just how big it is. You know that it's the biggest race on the planet, but you really don't know how big until you experience it in person and look into the crowd. You feel the history and the excitement. It's like the biggest soccer game in Brazil times 10."

LDR PIT CREW ASSIGNMENTS

Race strategist - Jay Penske; Engineer - Ray Leto; Engineer/Fuel data - Brian Page; Data engineer/Fuel deadman - Daniel Louks; Chief Mechanic/outside front - John Piccinotti; Inside front - Josh Junge; Outside rear - Rob Maxey; Inside rear - Tim White; Jackman - Pete Bloathner; Fueler - James Stevens; Front tire pass - Simon Morley; Rear tire pass - Scott Simpson; Stop Sign - John Cummiskey; Front hose pull - Darren Newport; Spotter - Cole Carter

CHARITY DRIVE

By partnering with a dozen champion athletes each of the last two years, Luczo Dragon Racing has established a unique charity drive that has delivered more than $1 million to charitable organizations Worldwide. With the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps as their primary partners in 2009, much of the team's charitable focus will turn to organizations that support fallen heroes and their families. The LDR community development program was designed by team co-owners Steve Luczo and Jay Penske to raise money, increase exposure to the sport of auto racing and encourage a philanthropic spirit that inspires others to make an impact in their communities.

CHAMPIONS CHARITIES

The beneficiaries of the Luczo Dragon profit donation program have been: Always Dream Foundation (Kristi Yamaguchi), All Stars Helping Kids (Marcus Allen, Ronnie Lott), Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative (Brandi Chastain), Chase the Stars Foundation (Kerri Walsh), Cystic Fibrosis Foundation - Indiana Chapter (Rick Mears), Donovan McNabb Foundation (Donovan McNabb), Fisher House, Colorado Chapter (John Elway), Four Rings Montana Family Foundation (Joe Montana), Jackson Community College Foundation - Wilbur Dungy Endowment (Tony Dungy), Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation (Joe Torre), Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (Sugar Ray Leonard), Northern California Special Olympics/Camp Okizu (Chris Mullin), Serena Williams Foundation (Serena Williams), Sports4Kids (Natalie Coughlin), Steve Nash Foundation (Steve Nash), Success Through the Arts Foundation (Jackson Browne), Team Play (Baron Davis), The B'Leaf Team ALS Patient Care (Joe Thornton), Turtle Ridge Foundation (Bode Miller), UNESCO (Venus Williams), Wayne Gretzky Foundation (Wayne Gretzky), Women's Sports Foundation (Laila Ali).
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Fri May 15, 2009 1:03 am

2009 INDY 500 QUALIFYING

Raphael Matos narrowly missed qualifying on the first day, but bounced back on day two by registering the fastest time of the day and pulling down the 12th spot with a qualifying run of 223.429. Matos will give Luczo Dragon Racing its second consecutive fourth row start at the Indianapolis 500. Tomas Scheckter qualified 11th with a near identical 223.496 four-lap average in 2008.

CONSISTENT QUALIFIER

Time will tell who wins the award for the most consistent qualifier at the 2009 Indianapolis 500, but Raphael Matos will be a prime candidate after a remarkable performance in his first Indy 500 appearance. The 27-year old rookie posted the second most consistent qualifying run in week one with just a 0.232 difference between his fastest and slowest lap. Matos had a top speed of 223.561on his first lap and slowest mark of 223.329 on his fourth. He recorded a 223.407 on his second and 223.417 on his third. Scott Sharp's qualifying effort was the most consistent in the field with a 0.134 difference between fastest and slowest laps.

FASTEST ROOKIE

Raphael Matos became the 35th recipient of the Fastest Rookie Award when he posted a qualifying run of 223.429 Sunday, May 10. The 4-Lap average was the seventh fastest qualifying time overall and secured the 12th starting position for the #2 Air Force Luczo Dragon car. Matos joins a who's who of rookies who have won the award, including Rick Mears, Eddie Cheever Jr., Jacques Villeneuve, Michael Andretti, Jimmy Vasser, Tony Stewart, Juan Pablo Montoya, Tony Kanaan, Scott Dixon, Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti. Hideki Mutoh won the award in 2008. Matos will be honored at the Fastest Rookie Luncheon May 19 at the Brickyard Crossing.

STEADY CLIMB

With rookie Raphael Matos piloting the #2 car, the Luczo Dragon Racing team came into the Indianapolis 500 with a deliberate game plan in mind. They were focused on getting him acclimated with the track while building his confidence in the car. As his comfort level grew so did the adjustments and speed in the car. In the first week of practice, Matos registered 334 practice laps, the most in the field, and also increased his speed from one practice to the next at four of the five sessions. His fastest lap climbed from 218.613 on day one to 223.615 on day five. He ran the most laps on each of the first two days (80 and 132) and was second behind Sarah Fisher (75) with 73 laps turned on day three.

20TH ANNIVERSARY

It was 20 years ago when Emerson Fitipaldi won the Indianapolis 500. It's also been 20 years since Raphael Matos started watching "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" as a seven year old with his father in Brazil. Tough for a youngster to remember everything he saw, but each year he watched Matos grew more determined to enter the race one day. So, 20 years after watching his first Indy 500, Matos will join the starting field as the 12th qualifier, fulfilling a dream that started when sitting in front of the television next to his dad in 1989. His father, Sergio Eustaquio Filho, will make the trip from Brazil to see his son race in Indianapolis.

ROOKIE RAFA

The 2009 IndyCar season marks the fifth time Raphael Matos has been a rookie in an American racing series. He has proven to be quite competitive in each of his debut seasons. Matos was Skip Barber Rookie of the Year after winning the Formula Dodge National Shootout in 2002. He was a Star Mazda series rookie in 2004, finishing seventh in the standings despite not starting until week two. He claimed one pole at Mosport and had a season- best second place finish at Road America that year. Matos made the jump to the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Series in 2006 and finished fourth in the point standings for the Sierra Sierra team. He recorded one win (San Jose), three poles, four podium finishes and was second in laps led. With Andretti Green Racing in 2008, Matos secured the Firestone Indy Lights crown with three wins, eight top 5s and 13 top 10s. He led the league in poles (5), top 10 finishes (13), laps led (190) and races led (5).

RAFA'S FIRST WEEK AT INDY

"It was very important to me. I took the most laps of anyone and that was part of the plan. It was important for me to concentrate on track time and get a feel for the car. Once I got comfortable in the car we started to trim it out. The team did a great job and we ended up finding a sweet spot for qualifying. We were seventh quickest which was great."

RAFA'S SECOND WEEK PLAN

"This week we want to simulate the race conditions so we will focus on working with a loaded car in traffic. I will need to get comfortable in the car again, but it should be a bit easier because the car will have more grip."

RAFA ON ADVICE FROM RICK MEARS AND GIL DE FERRAN

"They have helped a lot. You really need to go out there and experience the situations to really see what they're talking about. They give advice and then when you experience it you can relate to what they said. The biggest thing is you have to respect this place; it's not forgiving at all. Rick and Gil emphasized that, especially in race conditions, in traffic."

RAFA ON LEARNING ABOUT INDY

"As a rookie, I'm learning something every day here. I have learned just how intense it is and the patience you have to have. You really need to take your time pushing your equipment because you can end up in the wall very quickly like a lot of other guys have done."

LDR PIT CREW ASSIGNMENTS

Race strategist - Jay Penske; Engineer - Ray Leto; Engineer/Fuel data - Brian Page; Data engineer/Fuel deadman - Daniel Louks; Chief Mechanic/outside front - John Piccinotti; Inside front - Josh Junge; Outside rear - Rob Maxey; Inside rear - Tim White; Jackman - Pete Bloathner; Fueler - James Stevens; Front tire pass - Simon Morley; Rear tire pass - Scott Simpson; Stop Sign - John Cummiskey; Front hose pull - Darren Newport; Spotter - Cole Carter
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Thu May 21, 2009 7:19 am

LUCZO DRAGON RACING PARTNERS WITH SHAQUILLE O'NEAL TO RAISE MONEY AND AWARENESS FOR CHARITABLE CAUSES
Annual Charity Drive has Raised $1 million in Two Years

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Shaquille O'Neal has earned several nicknames during his NBA career, including The Diesel, The Big Aristotle, The Big Daddy and Big Cactus. Now you can add The Big Philanthropist to that list.

Luczo Dragon Racing, the IndyCar Series racing team, has partnered with O'Neal, one of the biggest personalities in all of sports, to raise money and awareness for charity throughout the 2009 race season, it was announced today.

By partnering with champion athletes each year, Steve Luczo and Jay Penske, co-owners of Luczo Dragon Racing, have established a unique charity drive that has delivered more than $1 million to charitable organizations Worldwide in two years. With the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps as their primary partners on the car in 2009, much of the team's charitable focus will turn to organizations that support fallen heroes and their families.

"We are proud to have Shaquille O'Neal join our team of champions," Luczo said. "Shaq has demonstrated that leadership, competitiveness, winning and compassion can all be achieved at the same time. As one of the most recognized Champions in sports, and as a positive role model through his many community and social efforts, Shaq is the ideal individual to help Luczo Dragon Racing further its success. On top of that, his father is a military veteran, which is particularly relevant to our expanded mission of supporting wounded and fallen soldiers and their families."

The LDR community development program was designed to raise money, increase exposure to the sport of auto racing and encourage a philanthropic spirit that inspires others to make an impact in their communities.

As a four-time NBA Champion, 15-time All Star, three-time NBA Finals MVP and 2000 League MVP, O'Neal has carved out a Hall of Fame career on the court. His work with children and families in need are just part of his mission to serve the community.

"I believe in giving and I am thrilled to be joining forces with the Luczo Dragon Racing Team," O'Neal said. "My parents taught me at a young age that my goals are and should be more than just about the things I want to personally accomplish. Therefore, giving to others has given me a deeper sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. Everyone has a passion, it could be any number of things: animals, education, AIDS research, cancer, etc. My passion is our most precious resource, children. That is why I support charity organizations that focus on children including Kids Athletic Foundation and the Boys and Girls Club of America, on a regular basis. There is no excuse for not giving. If you don't have money you still can support by volunteering your time. Take it from me, we all win when we take the focus off of ourselves and support others."

LDR formed its first team of champions for the 2007 Indianapolis 500, its only race of the year. The team included Marcus Allen, Jackson Browne, Brandi Chastain, Baron Davis, Tony Dungy, John Elway, Wayne Gretzky, Ronnie Lott, Jonny Moseley, Chris Mullin, Kerri Walsh and Kristi Yamaguchi. Last year, Luczo Dragon partnered with Laila Ali, Natalie Coughlin, Sugar Ray Leonard, Donovan McNabb, Rick Mears, Bode Miller, Joe Montana, Steve Nash, Joe Thornton, Joe Torre, Serena Williams and Venus Williams.

Combined, the Luczo Dragon Racing team of champions have won 13 Super Bowls, 18 Olympic Gold Medals, 37 Grand Slam victories, 13 World Championships, 11 World Cups, 14 Wimbledon titles, five World Series titles, four Stanley Cups, four NBA titles, four Indy 500 championships, eight US Open crowns, 18 League MVPs, five Super Bowl MVPs, 3 NBA Finals MVPs, one Heisman Trophy, 12 Hall of Fame inductions and more than 115 All-Star team selections.
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Sun May 24, 2009 2:47 pm

Indy 500: Luczo Dragon Racing race preview


INDY 500 HISTORY

While they have participated in only two Indianapolis 500 races to date, the Luczo Dragon Racing team has produced some significant results in their short history. They have one top 5 finish and two first day qualifying runs to their credit. When Raphael Matos starts 12th Sunday it will be the second consecutive year the team begins from row four. In their only race in 2007, Ryan Briscoe qualified seventh at 224.410 mph and finished fifth. In 2008, Tomas Scheckter also qualified on the first day, posting a time of 223.496 to slip into the 11th spot. He was running third with 44 laps remaining when a broken drive shaft spoiled a potential podium finish. Matos posted the fastest qualifying time (223.429) on Day 2 to earn the Fastest Rookie Award.

20TH ANNIVERSARY

It was 20 years ago when Emerson Fitipaldi won the Indianapolis 500. It's also been 20 years since Raphael Matos started watching "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" as a seven year old with his father in Brazil. Tough for a youngster to remember everything he saw, but each year he watched Matos grew more determined to enter the race one day. So, 20 years after watching his first Indy 500, Matos will join the starting field as the 12th qualifier, fulfilling a dream that started when sitting in front of the television next to his dad in 1989. His father, Sergio Eustaquio Filho, will make the trip from Brazil to see his son race in Indianapolis.

CONSISTENT QUALIFIER

Time will tell who wins the award for the most consistent qualifier at the 2009 Indianapolis 500, but Raphael Matos will be a prime candidate after a remarkable performance in his first Indy 500 appearance. The 27-year old rookie posted the second most consistent qualifying run in week one with just a 0.232 difference between his fastest and slowest lap. Matos had a top speed of 223.561on his first lap and slowest mark of 223.329 on his fourth. He recorded a 223.407 on his second and 223.417 on his third. Scott Sharp's qualifying effort was the most consistent in the field with a 0.134 difference between fastest and slowest laps.

VISUALIZING THE RACE

Prior to climbing into the car and firing up the engine, Raphael Matos spends the hours before a race visualizing what's going to happen on the track. "In Indy, you have to understand how much the track will change and the adjustments you have to make during the race. The car will feel a certain way in the beginning then change with the conditions. I try to visualize what those changes will be like then picture what position I'm in and who I'm racing against and the characteristics of those cars and drivers. The track gets better at the end of the race because there's more rubber, but that also means a lot of debris and marbles. You have to be careful where you place your car. I visualize all those things."

FASTEST ROOKIE

Raphael Matos became the 35th recipient of the Fastest Rookie Award when he posted a qualifying run of 223.429 Sunday, May 10. The 4-Lap average was the seventh fastest qualifying time overall and secured the 12th starting position for the #2 Air Force Luczo Dragon car. Matos joins a who's who of rookies who have won the award, including Rick Mears, Eddie Cheever Jr., Jacques Villeneuve, Michael Andretti, Jimmy Vasser, Tony Stewart, Juan Pablo Montoya, Tony Kanaan, Scott Dixon, Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti. Hideki Mutoh won the award in 2008. Matos was honored at the Fastest Rookie Luncheon May 19 at the Brickyard Crossing.

RAFA ON ADVICE FROM RICK MEARS AND GIL DE FERRAN

"They have helped a lot. You really need to go out there and experience the situations to really see what they're talking about. They give advice and then when you experience it

you can relate to what they said. The biggest thing is you have to respect this place; it's not forgiving at all. Rick and Gil emphasized that, especially in race conditions, in traffic."

LDR PIT CREW ASSIGNMENTS

Race strategist - Jay Penske; Engineer - Ray Leto; Engineer/Fuel data - Brian Page; Data engineer/Fuel deadman - Daniel Louks; Chief Mechanic/outside front - John Piccinotti; Inside front - Josh Junge; Outside rear - Rob Maxey; Inside rear - Tim White; Jackman - Pete Bloathner; Fueler - James Stevens; Front tire pass - Simon Morley; Rear tire pass - Scott Simpson; Stop Sign - John Cummiskey; Front hose pull - Darren Newport; Spotter - Cole Carter

ROOKIE RAFA

The 2009 IndyCar season marks the fifth time Raphael Matos has been a rookie in an American racing series. He has proven to be quite competitive in each of his debut seasons. Matos was Skip Barber Rookie of the Year after winning the Formula Dodge National Shootout in 2002. He was a Star Mazda series rookie in 2004, finishing seventh in the standings despite not starting until week two. He claimed one pole at Mosport and had a season- best second place finish at Road America that year. Matos made the jump to the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Series in 2006 and finished fourth in the point standings for the Sierra Sierra team. He recorded one win (San Jose), three poles, four podium finishes and was second in laps led. With Andretti Green Racing in 2008, Matos secured the Firestone Indy Lights crown with three wins, eight top 5s and 13 top 10s. He led the league in poles (5), top 10 finishes (13), laps led (190) and races led (5).
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Thu May 28, 2009 2:29 pm

Milwaukee: Luczo Dragon Racing preview


FIRST TIMER
Luczo Dragon Racing will make its first ever appearance at the Milwaukee Mile, while rookie driver Raphael Matos makes his second start on the track. After competing in just one race in 2007 and six in 2008, Luczo Dragon will be a first timer at 12 tracks, including St. Petersburg, Long Beach, Milwaukee, Iowa, Richmond, Watkins Glen, Toronto, Edmonton, Kentucky, Mid-Ohio, Twin Ring Motegi and Homestead. Matos has raced on all but Motegi.

BOUNCING BACK
Raphael Matos suffered a bruised right knee and a headache in the accident with Vitor Meira on lap 173 of the 2009 Indianapolis 500. X-rays taken trackside proved to be negative and Matos was prescribed an ice and rest rehab routine. He returned to Miami Tuesday to begin the recovery process. "Right now my plan is to get back to my normal routine of working out, eating well and going to the Go-Kart track as soon as possible. I will see how my knee feels first. Once I feel it is 100 percent I will resume everything like normal."

STRONG ROOKIE
He may not have claimed the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year award, but Raphael Matos clearly had the strongest month of May for all rookies in Indianapolis. Aside from his Fastest Rookie Award and consistency during practice, Matos ran with the race leaders for most of the race. After starting 12th, the 27-year old Brazilian climbed to 8th after two laps, jumped to 6th on lap 57 and was 4th by lap 64. He remained in the top five for the next 71 laps. The former Indy Lights champ ran no lower than 7th for 111 laps (24-135). A wheel nut stuck in the gun on the team's fifth pit stop on lap 134 dropped Matos from 5th to 20th and quick stop for a splash of gas five laps later put him in 21st. Matos made up seven spots in just 20 laps. The strong run came to an end with the devastating crash with Vitor Meira.

RAFA'S MILWAUKEE SCOUTING REPORT
"Milwaukee is a track I really like. I was very fast there last year and finished third in Indy Lights. I think it will be a good place for us. It is a track where the driver can make a little more of a difference because it is more technical and challenging than the high banking, flat out ovals."

CATCHING UP WITH VITOR
"I talked with Vitor and his wife a few hours after the race (Indy 500) and I went to see him. My family did not tell me anything about him because they knew I would be upset. When I called him his wife answered the phone and she was on her way to the hospital. I talked to him a little later and he told me he was out for the season. That really hurt me. I have so much respect for Vitor. He is my friend and I know how hard he works and how dedicated he is. I know that it's part of racing, but it hurts a lot knowing he won't be out there."

NEW PAINT SCHEME
Luczo Dragon will unveil the new #2 Marines car in Milwaukee. It will be the first of nine races carrying the USMC colors and Eagle, Anchor and Globe emblem. Aside from Milwaukee, LDR is scheduled to run the new Marines car in Iowa, Richmond, Watkins Glen, Toronto, Edmonton, Ohio and Infineon
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:03 pm

Texas: Luczo Dragon Racing preview


TIME FOR TEXAS

After gaining valuable short oval experience and moving up two spots in pit lane with the sixth place finish and 28 points in Milwaukee, Luczo Dragon Racing and Raphael Matos will take the #2 Air Force car for a run at the Bombardier Learjet 550k at Texas Motor Speedway. It will be LDR's second appearance at the super speedway. Last year, Luczo Dragon qualified sixth, but finished 25th when a crash eliminated them on lap 56. Matos will be making his first appearance in Texas. He performed his first test outing with the Luczo Dragon team at Texas Motor Speedway in December.

BOUNCING BACK

Raphael Matos rebounded nicely from a devastating finish at the Indianapolis 500 with his second top 10 and a career-best sixth place finish at the Milwaukee Mile. The pain in his right knee proved to be the only lingering effect from Indianapolis as Matos ran top five for 41 laps and top 7 for 187 of the 225 laps. He started ninth. Slower traffic in the final 20 laps hindered his pursuit of fifth place finisher Danica Patrick. Matos suffered a bruised right knee and a mild concussion in the accident with Vitor Meira on lap 173 of the 2009 Indianapolis 500. An Impact Test last week with a neurologist in Miami revealed the concussion.

TOP ROOKIE

With a career-best sixth place finish and 28 points at the Milwaukee Mile, Raphael Matos has moved atop the Bombardier Rookie of the Year Standings. Matos nosed in front of Robert Doornbos by a mere three points to claim the top spot for the first time this season. Doornbos had led the first four weeks, but back-to-back strong performances in Indianapolis and Milwaukee allowed Matos to overcome an 11-point deficit. He ranks 14th overall.

MILWAUKEE MILESTONE

The sixth place finish is the second highest finish in team history, behind the fifth place finish Ryan Briscoe registered for the team at the 2007 Indianapolis 500. It was the third top 10 in team history. Matos' previous best finish was eighth in Long Beach. He was running top five for much of the day last week at the Indy 500 before crashing with Vitor Meira on lap 173.

MAINTAINING MOMENTUM

One thing rookie Raphael Matos has shown this season, especially the last two weeks, is that he can run with the IndyCar Series leaders. With the exception of Kansas, Matos has been highly competitive, qualifying ninth or better three times and running top five in three of the five races. "Everywhere we have been we have shown a good pace, top 10, top six. At Texas I expect to run up front again. We tested there early and the car was really good. Hopefully we can match that performance and keep our momentum."

RAFA'S TEXAS SCOUTING REPORT

"Texas is a flat out track and the highest banking track of the championship. It's very fast with lots of side by side racing. The higher you go the bumpier it gets so the car needs to be good if you are on the outside. The aerodynamics has to be smooth and very efficient. It's a fun track and I like racing at night. It's good for the fans. We had a fast car there when we tested and hopefully we'll be able to match that performance."

RAFA'S ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

"We have a very good team and it has showed all season, especially the month of May. We still have a lot of room for improvement. We have been a top 5, top 6 team and it will take more from all of us to get to the top three. That's what we're all trying to achieve."

ITALIAN CITIZENSHIP

Luczo Dragon Racing co-owner Steve Luczo will miss the race at Texas Motor Speedway as he presents scholarships and receives honorary citizenship in Corleone, Italy this weekend. Luczo will be in Sicily to present scholarships in his mother Rose Luczo's honor to students in Corleone, his family's hometown, Friday, June 5. He and Philip G. Zimbardo, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus at Stanford University, will receive honorary citizenship the following day in a ceremony at City Hall.

DIESEL FUELED

Shaquille O'Neal, the man with many talents and many nicknames, including The Diesel, will join the Luczo Dragon Racing Team for the race at Texas Motor Speedway. Aside from becoming a part of LDR's charity team of champions, O'Neal will be the Grand Marshal and will ride in the pace car with three-time Indy 500 champion Johnny Rutherford to start the race. "I am excited about being the Grand Marshal and coming to my first IndyCar race at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend," O'Neal said. "Since they won't let me enter the race I'll do the next best thing and start the race in the pace car. I'm sure Johnny Rutherford can teach me a few things during the ride so when the day comes and I do get to race an IndyCar I'll be ready."

CHARITY DRIVE

By partnering with champion athletes each year, Luczo Dragon Racing has established a unique charity drive that has delivered more than $1 million to charitable organizations Worldwide. In 2009, they have added Shaquille O'Neal to their team of champions. "We are proud to have Shaquille O'Neal join our team of champions," Steve Luczo said. "Shaq has demonstrated that leadership, competitiveness, winning and compassion can all be achieved at the same time. As one of the most recognized Champions in sports, and as a positive role model through his many community and social efforts, Shaq is the ideal individual to help Luczo Dragon Racing further its success. On top of that, his father is a military veteran, which is particularly relevant to our expanded mission of supporting wounded and fallen soldiers and their families."

With the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps as their primary partners in 2009, much of the team's charitable focus will turn to organizations that support wounded and fallen heroes and their families. The LDR community development program was designed by team co-owners Jay Penske and Luczo to raise money, increase exposure to the sport of auto racing and encourage a philanthropic spirit that inspires others to make an impact in their communities.

CHAMPIONS CHARITIES

The beneficiaries of the Luczo Dragon profit donation program have been: Always Dream Foundation (Kristi Yamaguchi), All Stars Helping Kids (Marcus Allen, Ronnie Lott), Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative (Brandi Chastain), Chase the Stars Foundation (Kerri Walsh), Cystic Fibrosis Foundation - Indiana Chapter (Rick Mears), Donovan McNabb Foundation (Donovan McNabb), Fisher House, Colorado Chapter (John Elway), Four Rings Montana Family Foundation (Joe Montana), Jackson Community College Foundation - Wilbur Dungy Endowment (Tony Dungy), Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation (Joe Torre), Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (Sugar Ray Leonard), Northern California Special Olympics/Camp Okizu (Chris Mullin), Serena Williams Foundation (Serena Williams), Sports4Kids (Natalie Coughlin), Steve Nash Foundation (Steve Nash), Success Through the Arts Foundation (Jackson Browne), Team Play (Baron Davis), The B'Leaf Team ALS Patient Care (Joe Thornton), Turtle Ridge Foundation (Bode Miller), UNESCO (Venus Williams), Wayne Gretzky Foundation (Wayne Gretzky), Women's Sports Foundation (Laila Ali).
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:23 am

Iowa: Luczo Dragon Racing preview



IOWA DEBUT
The Luczo Dragon Racing team makes its debut at Iowa Speedway after finishing 12th in Texas. Raphael Matos made his only Iowa appearance last year, finishing seventh in the Firestone Indy Lights race.

TOP ROOKIE
With a career-best sixth place finish and 28 points at the Milwaukee Mile, Raphael Matos moved atop the Bombardier Rookie of the Year Standings. Matos has a two-point lead over Robert Doornbos after they finished 12th and 11th respectively in Texas. Doornbos had led the first four weeks, but back-to- back strong performances in Indianapolis and Milwaukee allowed Matos to overcome an 11-point deficit. He ranks 13th overall.

POINT PRODUCER
One thing rookie Raphael Matos has shown this season, especially the last three races, is that he can run with the IndyCar Series leaders. With the exception of Kansas, Matos has been highly competitive, qualifying ninth or better three times and running top five in three of the six races. His 46 points in the last two races is tied with Dan Wheldon for seventh most. Only Ryan Briscoe (85), Scott Dixon (85), Helio Castroneves (69), Dario Franchitti (66), Danica Patrick (58) and Marco Andretti (58) have registered more points in the last two races.

CHASING TOP 10
Raphael Matos ranks 13th in the overall drivers standings with 106 points and is closing fast on the top 10. The young Brazilian is just one point behind Justin Wilson and Hideki Mutoh, who are tied for 11th and just 10 points back of Ryan Hunter-Reay, who ranks 10th with 116 points. Since Hunter-Reay and Wilson finished second and third respectively in St. Petersburg, Matos has outscored Hunter-Reay 94-76 and Wilson 94-70. Over the last two races Matos has averaged 23 points compared to 18 by Mutoh, 16 by Hunter-Reay and 15 by Wilson.

RAFA'S IOWA SCOUTING REPORT
"Iowa is a tough track. There's a lot of banking in turns 1 and 2 and not so much in turns 3 and 4, so you will get some side by side racing especially in 1 and 2. Usually the car is not as good in one of the ends so if you nailed the setup you will be hard to beat."

RAFA'S RICHMOND TEST REPORT
"The test was great. I believe that we have a strong car for that type of track. It was good for me to get more acclimated to short ovals and working with Eric Zeto, our new engineer. We were concentrating on trying to find mechanical grip, and a good balance for the race. We also tried some qualifying simulations. It's a very difficult track to pass on since you don't have long straightaways to draft, so a good starting position is very important."

MILWAUKEE MILESTONE
Raphael Matos' sixth place finish in Milwaukee is the second highest finish in team history, behind the fifth place finish Ryan Briscoe registered for the team at the 2007

Indianapolis 500. It was the third top 10 in team history. Matos' previous best finish was eighth in Long Beach. He was running top five for much of the day last week at the Indy 500 before crashing with Vitor Meira on lap 173.

CHARITY DRIVE By partnering with champion athletes each year, Luczo Dragon Racing has established a unique charity drive that has delivered more than $1 million to charitable organizations Worldwide. In 2009, they have added Shaquille O'Neal to their team of champions. "We are proud to have Shaquille O'Neal join our team of champions," Steve Luczo said. "Shaq has demonstrated that leadership, competitiveness, winning and compassion can all be achieved at the same time. As one of the most recognized Champions in sports, and as a positive role model through his many community and social efforts, Shaq is the ideal individual to help Luczo Dragon Racing further its success. On top of that, his father is a military veteran, which is particularly relevant to our expanded mission of supporting wounded and fallen soldiers and their families."

With the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps as their primary partners in 2009, much of the team's charitable focus will turn to organizations that support wounded and fallen heroes and their families. The LDR community development program was designed by team co-owners Jay Penske and Luczo to raise money, increase exposure to the sport of auto racing and encourage a philanthropic spirit that inspires others to make an impact in their communities.
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:33 am

Watkins Glen: Luczo Dragon Racing preview


SUCCESS AT WATKINS GLEN

When the IndyCar series arrives in Watkins Glen this weekend, Raphael Matos will be returning to not only one of his favorite tracks, but also one on which he has been particularly successful. In two Firestone Indy Lights races at the Glen last year, Matos finished first and second, starting second and sixth respectively. His first Indy Lights appearance at Watkins Glen came in 2006 for Guthrie Racing. Contact left him 13th.

TOP ROOKIE

Raphael Matos and Robert Doornbos are in the midst of a tight race at the top of the Rookie of the Year standings. With an eighth place finish in Richmond, Matos increased his lead over Doornbos to three points (144-141) and has now maintained the top spot for four races. Doornbos led by as many as 11 points for the first four races before Matos' career-best sixth place finish and 28 points at the Milwaukee Mile vaulted him into the top spot.

ANYTHING YOU CAN DO I CAN DO BETTER

The battle between rookies Raphael Matos and Robert Doornbos is certainly noticeable in the standings, but has been particularly evident in the last three races as neither wants to lose any ground to the other. Matos and Doornbos have finished right behind one another

in each of the last three races. When Doornbos crossed the finish line in 11th in Texas, Matos was right behind him in 12th. When Matos' day ended early in Iowa, Doornbos returned from his earlier troubles to squeeze in just enough laps to finish 15th to Matos' 16th. In Richmond, Matos finished eighth, his third top 10 of the season and one spot in front of his rookie rival.

MOVIN' ON UP

By collecting 24 points in Richmond, Raphael Matos moved up two spots to 11th in the overall standings, his highest ranking of the season. He is 30 points short of cracking the top 10.

ROAD COURSE RETURN

The top 10 finish in Richmond gives the Luczo Dragon Racing team some momentum heading into three consecutive road course races. In the first two races on the streets (St. Petersburg and Long Beach), Raphael Matos has proven he can compete with the series leaders. In St. Pete he qualified ninth and had a strong car before colliding with Danica Patrick. In Long Beach, Matos qualified third and took the lead for two laps, the first laps led in team history, before finishing eighth.

AT HOME ON THE ROAD

All it takes is a look at the statistics to see that Raphael Matos has proven to be a very strong driver on road courses. During his time in the IRL, Matos has raced on road courses 13 times, including 11 in the Firestone Indy Lights series, and has registered five victories and nine top 10 finishes. His qualifying record is also impressive and includes three poles, eight top fives and 12 top 10s in 13 tries. Matos' lowest road course qualifying effort was 11th at Watkins Glen in 2006. Since that time he has run off 10 consecutive top 10 starting positions, including eighth in St. Petersburg and third at Long Beach this season. If you add in the 2007 Champ Car Atlantic Series, Matos has qualified top 10 in 22 consecutive road course races. He also added six wins, 11 top fives and finished top 10 in all 12 Atlantic races.

ROAD WORK

One thing Raphael Matos likes to do to prepare for a road course race is go to the GoKart track. Matos was at the Homestead track Tuesday for several hours preparing for this weekend's race at Watkins Glen. It was his first real visit to the track since the end of April before departing for Indy. "I haven't turned right in two months. Being at the GoKart track makes you work really hard on your reflexes, your concentration. You can simulate so many things there like qualifying runs, long runs on fuel, everything. The best thing is it gets your body back to how it feels on a road course."

RAFA: LITTLE TRACK TIME AT WATKINS GLEN

"We don't have a lot of track time at Watkins Glen. We have a strong car on road courses and I like the way our engineer Eric Zeto thinks. Hopefully we'll be good right out of the box."

RAFA'S WATKINS GLEN SCOUTING REPORT

"Watkins Glen is one of the best tracks on the planet. It's a very fast flowing track with a lot of elevation changes. It's very fun to drive when the car gives you confidence in the fast corners. It's very important for the driver to be on top of his equipment and for the set up to be good. You will see long straights so the car must be very quick on acceleration and top speed."

ROOKIE RAFA

The 2009 IndyCar season marks the fifth time Raphael Matos has been a rookie in an American racing series. He has proven to be quite competitive in each of his debut seasons. Matos was Skip Barber Rookie of the Year after winning the Formula Dodge National Shootout in 2002. He was a Star Mazda series rookie in 2004, finishing seventh in the standings despite not starting until week two. He claimed one pole at Mosport and had a season- best second place finish at Road America that year. Matos made the jump to the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Series in 2006 and finished fourth in the point standings for the Sierra Sierra team. He recorded one win (San Jose), three poles, four podium finishes and was second in laps led. With Andretti Green Racing in 2008, Matos secured the Firestone Indy Lights crown with three wins, eight top 5s and 13 top 10s. He led the league in poles (5), top 10 finishes (13), laps led (190) and races led (5).

CHARITY DRIVE

By partnering with champion athletes each year, Luczo Dragon Racing has established a unique charity drive that has delivered more than $1 million to charitable organizations Worldwide. In 2009, they have added Shaquille O'Neal to their team of champions. "We are proud to have Shaquille O'Neal join our team of champions," Steve Luczo said. "Shaq has demonstrated that leadership, competitiveness, winning and compassion can all be achieved at the same time. As one of the most recognized Champions in sports, and as a positive role model through his many community and social efforts, Shaq is the ideal individual to help Luczo Dragon Racing further its success. On top of that, his father is a military veteran, which is particularly relevant to our expanded mission of supporting wounded and fallen soldiers and their families."

With the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps as their primary partners in 2009, much of the team's charitable focus will turn to organizations that support wounded and fallen heroes and their families. The LDR community development program was designed by team co-owners Jay Penske and Luczo to raise money, increase exposure to the sport of auto racing and encourage a philanthropic spirit that inspires others to make an impact in their communities.
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:08 am

Toronto: Luczo Dragon Racing preview


THIRD TRIP TO TORONTO

Raphael Matos makes his third career race appearance in Toronto when he guides the Marines Luczo Dragon car to the downtown streets of Canada's most populated city. In 2007, Matos captured the pole and finished third in the Steelback Atlantic Grand Prix. A year earlier, he was leading the race before getting tangled up with Graham Rahal on the very first lap.

UPHILL CLIMB

Raphael Matos has often talked about the lessons he has learned during his rookie season and he added another at Watkins Glen - how to climb from the back of the pack. Matos started 18th and climbed as high as seventh before finishing 12th and collecting 18 points. The six spot improvement was a career-best for the 27-year old rookie. It was his biggest climb since going from sixth to the win for Guthrie Racing in the Indy Lights race at St. Petersburg in 2006. Aside from rallying from the worst starting position of his career, Matos also recovered with no damage from a 360 spin caused by contact with Ryan Hunter-Reay on the very first lap at Watkins Glen.

ROOKIE RACE

Raphael Matos and Robert Doornbos are in the midst of a tight race for Rookie of the Year honors, a race that has changed hands twice now. With a ninth place finish at Watkins Glen, Doornbos moved one point in front of Matos (163-162). It is the second time the two drivers have been separated by just one point. Doornbos led the first four weeks before Matos took over the following four weeks. Mike Conway hauled in 28 points with a sixth place finish at Watkins Glen to narrow his gap to 27 points.

RE-FUELING FOUL UP

Problems with the fuel sensor cost Raphael Matos a possible top 10 finish and tripped up an otherwise remarkable day at Watkins Glen. After struggling through practice and qualifying Saturday, the Luczo Dragon team made dramatic changes to the racecar that proved to be quite fruitful. Nearly midway through the race Matos climbed 11 spots from 18th to seventh before the faulty fuel gauge set him back. Even though the team performed well in the pits, the sensor allowed only 21 gallons of fuel to load instead of the full 22 gallons, causing Matos to pit a lap earlier than everyone else on each stint. He lost as many as four positions due to the malfunction.

TORONTO HOMECOMING

For Luczo Dragon's chief engineer Eric Zeto, Toronto is not just another race. The 36-year old Zeto grew up just 10 miles from the site of the Honda Indy Toronto race. In fact, he could hear the cars each summer from his house. The son of Chinese immigrants, Zeto had never seen a race until he watched fellow Toronto native Scott Goodyear narrowly miss winning the Indy 500 in 1992. After that he was hooked. Zeto has been an engineer in open wheel racing since 1998 and has participated in the Toronto race seven times, landing in victory lane twice - 2003 with Paul Tracy and 2006 with AJ Almendinger. Zeto also guided Tracy to a second place finish in 2006 and Patrick Carpentier to third place in 2004.

SHORT WEEK

Raphael Matos will have a short week as he prepares for Toronto. After a one-day stop home in Miami Monday, Matos will arrive in Toronto Tuesday to participate in the IndyCar Series PR Advance. He will skip the GoKart prep work he likes to do before a street course race, but not the workouts. "I have to be able to workout the entire week leading up to a race. It keeps my mind right and is very important to me. The worst thing that can happen is the hotel doesn't have a nice workout facility." He's safe in Toronto; the Fairmont Royal York has a state of the art fitness center.

RAFA'S TORONTO SCOUTING REPORT

"Toronto is a very challenging but fun track. It's bumpy; there are a lot of walls, low grip and different types of surfaces so as a driver you really have to be on top of your game. It takes a bit more of the driver to find the limit. You have to use every inch of the track. You definitely need a good car so that you have the confidence to push hard, but in Toronto the whole package needs to be right - the set up and the driver."

AT HOME ON THE ROAD

All it takes is a look at the statistics to see that Raphael Matos has proven to be a very strong driver on road courses. During his time in the IRL, Matos has raced on road courses 14 times, including 11 in the Firestone Indy Lights series, and has registered five victories and nine top 10 finishes. His qualifying record is also impressive and includes three poles, eight top fives and 12 top 10s in 14 tries. Until qualifying a career-low 18th at Watkins Glen Saturday, Matos had run off 10 consecutive top 10 starting positions, including eighth in St. Petersburg and third at Long Beach this season. If you add in the 2007 Champ Car Atlantic Series, Matos had qualified top 10 in 22 consecutive road course races. He also added six wins, 11 top fives and finished top 10 in all 12 Atlantic races.

TOP 10 LIST

Raphael Matos recorded his third top 10 finish of the season with an eighth place finish in Richmond. It was the fourth top 10 in team history. The most ever top 10s by a rookie was 10 by Felipe Giaffone in 2001. Last year's Rookie of the Year, Hideki Mutoh had eight top 10s.

ROOKIE RAFA

The 2009 IndyCar season marks the fifth time Raphael Matos has been a rookie in an American racing series. He has proven to be quite competitive in each of his debut seasons. Matos was Skip Barber Rookie of the Year after winning the Formula Dodge National Shootout in 2002. He was a Star Mazda series rookie in 2004, finishing seventh in the standings despite not starting until week two. He claimed one pole at Mosport and had a season- best second place finish at Road America that year. Matos made the jump to the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Series in 2006 and finished fourth in the point standings for the Sierra Sierra team. He recorded one win (San Jose), three poles, four podium finishes and was second in laps led. With Andretti Green Racing in 2008, Matos secured the Firestone Indy Lights crown with three wins, eight top 5s and 13 top 10s. He led the league in poles (5), top 10 finishes (13), laps led (190) and races led (5).

CHARITY DRIVE

By partnering with champion athletes each year, Luczo Dragon Racing has established a unique charity drive that has delivered more than $1 million to charitable organizations Worldwide. In 2009, they have added Shaquille O'Neal to their team of champions. "We are proud to have Shaquille O'Neal join our team of champions," Steve Luczo said. "Shaq has demonstrated that leadership, competitiveness, winning and compassion can all be achieved at the same time. As one of the most recognized Champions in sports, and as a positive role model through his many community and social efforts, Shaq is the ideal individual to help Luczo Dragon Racing further its success. On top of that, his father is a military veteran, which is particularly relevant to our expanded mission of supporting wounded and fallen soldiers and their families."

With the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps as their primary partners in 2009, much of the team's charitable focus will turn to organizations that support wounded and fallen heroes and their families. The LDR community development program was designed by team co-owners Jay Penske and Luczo to raise money, increase exposure to the sport of auto racing and encourage a philanthropic spirit that inspires others to make an impact in their communities.
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:24 am

RETURN TO EDMONTON
Raphael Matos likes Edmonton a lot. He enjoys the city, likes the restaurants and is especially fond of City Centre Raceway. Matos returns for the fourth time after recording two wins in his first three appearances on the Edmonton circuit. In 2007, Matos put together back-to-back victories on July 21 and 22 in the Atlantic Grand Prix of Edmonton, his fifth and sixth wins of the season en route to the Atlantic championship. He made his debut on the track in 2006, his rookie season in the Atlantic series.

AND THEN THERE WERE FOUR
Raphael Matos recorded his fourth top 10 finish of the season by withstanding a flurry of activity during the final 26 laps to finish 10th on the streets of Toronto. After starting ninth and climbing as high as fourth, the rookie from Brazil drove like a veteran in overcoming two collisions with Ryan Briscoe and Mario Moraes, a broken front wing and a flat left rear tire in locking up his third top 10 in the last six races. Matos collected 20 points and moved up to 12th in the overall standings with 182 points.

ROOKIE RACE
Raphael Matos and Robert Doornbos are in the midst of a seesaw race for Rookie of the Year honors, a race that has changed hands three times now. With a 10th place finish in Toronto, Matos regained the lead and moved seven points in front of Doornbos (182-175), his largest lead thus far. Doornbos has led by as many as 11 points and twice they have been separated by just one point. Doornbos led the first four weeks before Matos took over the following four weeks.

RECHARGING IN MIAMI
While some drivers used the week off to travel and get away, Raphael Matos didn't break away from home and was never far from the track. Instead of darting off to Brazil to visit family, Matos stayed in Miami, spending three days at the GoKart track with Marco Andretti and taking advanced spinning classes to maintain his fitness routine. Cycling is part of my training because it makes me feel better in the car. When you are strong on the bike your cardio will also be good while you are racing cars. It definitely keeps my mindset right."

PIT IMPROVEMENT
As a rookie, Raphael Matos is always looking for ways to improve his performance. Perhaps the most consistent area of improvement this year has been efficiency in the pits. Having raced in Champ Car Atlantic and Firestone Indy Lights the last three years, Matos' only prior pit stop experience was in endurance races. "I had some experience, but the IndyCar pit stops are faster and much more competitive as well, so you've got be on the top of your game. Every race I think I'm improving, but from now on the improvements are going to be smaller since we are already finding the limits."

RAFA'S EDMONTON SCOUTING REPORT "I like the track in Edmonton, it's very challenging. It is fast and wide open and quite bumpy. The last chicane is one of the fastest corners of all the tracks we've raced. Turn 1 is probably the most challenging part of the track. It has a very fast entry and a big bump in the middle of the corner. It's a very wide entry as well, not a lot of references."

AT HOME ON THE ROAD
All it takes is a look at the statistics to see that Raphael Matos has proven to be a very strong driver on road and street courses. During his time in the IRL, Matos has raced on road and street courses 15 times, including 11 in the Firestone Indy Lights series, and has registered five victories and 10 top 10 finishes. His qualifying record is also impressive and includes three poles, eight top fives and 13 top 10s in 15 tries. Until qualifying a career-low 18th at Watkins Glen Saturday, Matos had run off 10 consecutive top 10 starting positions, including eighth in St. Petersburg and third at Long Beach this season. He qualified ninth in Toronto. If you add in the 2007 Champ Car Atlantic Series, Matos had qualified top 10 in 22 consecutive road course races. He also added six wins, 11 top fives and finished top 10 in all 12 Atlantic races.

LDR PIT CREW ASSIGNMENTS
Race strategist - Jay Penske; Engineer - Eric Zeto; Engineer/Fuel data - Brian Page; Data engineer/Fuel deadman - Daniel Louks; Chief Mechanic/outside front - John Piccinotti; Inside front - Simon Morley; Outside rear - Josh Junge; Inside rear - Tim White; Jackman - Pete Bloathner; Fueler - Rick Campbell; Front tire pass - Jason Hurless; Rear tire pass - Scott Simpson; Stop Sign - John Cummiskey; Front hose pull - Darren Newport

TOP 10 LIST
While Raphael Matos recorded his fourth top 10 finish of the season with an 10th place finish in Toronto, it was the fifth top 10 in team history. The most ever top 10s by a rookie was 10 by Felipe Giaffone in 2001. Last year's Rookie of the Year, Hideki Mutoh had eight top 10s.

ROOKIE RAFA
The 2009 IndyCar season marks the fifth time Raphael Matos has been a rookie in an American racing series. He has proven to be quite competitive in each of his debut seasons. Matos was Skip Barber Rookie of the Year after winning the Formula Dodge National Shootout in 2002. He was a Star Mazda series rookie in 2004, finishing seventh in the standings despite not starting until week two. He claimed one pole at Mosport and had a season- best second place finish at Road America that year. Matos made the jump to the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Series in 2006 and finished fourth in the point standings for the Sierra Sierra team. He recorded one win (San Jose), three poles, four podium finishes and was second in laps led. With Andretti Green Racing in 2008, Matos secured the Firestone Indy Lights crown with three wins, eight top 5s and 13 top 10s. He led the league in poles (5), top 10 finishes (13), laps led (190) and races led (5).

CHARITY DRIVE
By partnering with champion athletes each year, Luczo Dragon Racing has established a unique charity drive that has delivered more than $1 million to charitable organizations Worldwide. In 2009, they have added Shaquille O'Neal to their team of champions. "We are proud to have Shaquille O'Neal join our team of champions," Steve Luczo said. "Shaq has demonstrated that leadership, competitiveness, winning and compassion can all be achieved at the same time. As one of the most recognized Champions in sports, and as a positive role model through his many community and social efforts, Shaq is the ideal individual to help Luczo Dragon Racing further its success. On top of that, his father is a military veteran, which is particularly relevant to our expanded mission of supporting wounded and fallen soldiers and their families."

With the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps as their primary partners in 2009, much of the team's charitable focus will turn to organizations that support wounded and fallen heroes and their families. The LDR community development program was designed by team co-owners Jay Penske and Luczo to raise money, increase exposure to the sport of auto racing and encourage a philanthropic spirit that inspires others to make an impact in their communities.
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest