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DATE News (chronologically)
07/19/08
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Matos leads flag-to-flag at Mid-Ohio
Former Champ Car Atlantic rival Rafael Matos and Franck Perera have picked up where they left off last year by running 1-2 once again in today’s first Firestone Indy Lights race at Mid-Ohio.  With the win Matos has now taken the points lead.

Matos pulled away from the start and won by 4.2603 seconds over Franck Perera. The victory gives Matos a three-point lead over Richard Antinucci, who finished third.

Results

1. (1) Raphael Matos, 40, Running, $22,000
2. (2) Franck Perera, 40, Running, $17,000
3. (4) Richard Antinucci, 40, Running, $13,500
4. (3) Jonny Reid, 40, Running, $11,500
5. (9) J.R. Hildebrand, 40, Running, $11,000
6. (12) Jeff Simmons, 40, Running, $10,500
7. (10) James Davison, 40, Running, $10,000
8. (5) Arie Luyendyk Jr., 40, Running, $9,500
9. (13) Andrew Prendeville, 40, Running, $9,250
10. (16) Pablo Donoso, 40, Running, $9,000
11. (6) Bobby Wilson, 40, Running, $9,500
12. (7) Wade Cunningham, 40, Running, $9,000
13. (17) Sean Guthrie, 40, Running, $10,000
14. (19) Ana Beatriz, 40, Running, $7,000
15. (20) Mitch Cunningham, 39, Running, $8,000
16. (21) Brent Sherman, 39, Running, $6,000
17. (18) Cyndie Allemann, 38, Running, $5,750
18. (15) Dillon Battistini, 38, Running, $5,000
19. (22) Mark Olson, 37, Running, $4,500
20. (14) Logan Gomez, 26, Mechanical $3,500
21. (8) Daniel Herrington, 15, Running, $3,000
22. (11) Robbie Pecorari, 4, Mechanical $2,500
    Race Statistics
      Winner's average speed: 106.227 mph
      Time of race: 51:00.9047
      Margin of victory: 4.2603 seconds
      Cautions: no caution flags
      Lead changes: no lead changes
      Lap leaders: Matos 1-40.
      Point standings: Matos 363, Antinucci 360, Beatriz 302,
Hildebrand 297, Luyendyk 297, Battistini 288, Simmons 269,
Gomez 237, Wilson 226, Donoso 224.

QUOTES

RAPHAEL MATOS (No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc., first): “It doesn't get better than this. I just have to thank the entire AFS/Andretti Green Racing team. It was a great day for us. We've turned it around. We've had some trouble this year, especially with the ovals. We knew we could be strong on the road courses. We're doing a consistent job on the ovals, and we've been kind of dominating on the road courses. We did it again. Hopefully we'll make the proper changes to the race car for Sunday and try to get another victory.”

FRANCK PERERA (No. 55 CJ Consulting Guthrie Racing, second): “It feels good to finally finish a race on a road course. This is my first season, so I'm trying to do what I can on the road courses and learn the ovals. Here we were able to start on the front row. I was trying to keep close to Rafa (Matos) during the race, but we didn't have any yellows so I couldn't do anything. It's good for the team to finish second, and we'll go for the win on Sunday. It will be tough to overtake here without a yellow.”

RICHARD ANTINUCCI (No. 7 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, third): “Track conditions were really bad at the beginning. That's where we lost most of our time. We got pretty fast at the end with the Lucas Oil/LifeLock car, but there was no point in doing something stupid to gain a couple tenths of a second. I think, hands down, (Raphael) Matos deserved this win. Their team has been strong all weekend. Also, congratulations to (Franck) Perera, who was uncatchable for me most of the race. I'm pretty happy with the points. I think we lost the lead in the championship by a hair, but we're right there, and we gained ground on the rest. Big picture, we're still close.”

JONNY REID (No. 9 Integra, fourth): “The car was very loose on the American Le Mans Series rubber. We were shy in one area of the car, and that kind of cost us, but we have another race tomorrow. It was definitely a learning experience. It was my first time to race here, and I am pleased with finishing fourth. The team put a lot of time and hard work into getting us here this weekend, and all in all it is a good way to go into tomorrow’s race.”

J.R. HILDEBRAND (No. 25 Allied Building Products, fifth): “It was pretty good. The track seemed pretty slick and greasy running after the ALMS because they put a lot of rubber down on the track. We started peeling that away through the race, so it was a little better by the end. The first half of the race the car was really slipping around a lot and sliding. I think everyone was kind of dealing with that to a certain degree, so I just tried to kind of hang in there for the first half of the race. I tried to pick it up at the end of race, and I was able to take advantage of a few guys taking themselves out there at the end. We will make a few changes and be ready for tomorrow. We didn’t test here like a lot of the other teams did so I feel like we have learned a lot over the last couple of days. I think we should be ready to do a pretty good job tomorrow.”

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