IndyCar »

Matos takes Chicago Lights pole.


Firestone Indy Lights points leader Raphael Matos won pole position for the season-ending SunRichGourmet.com 100 at Chicagoland Speedway, extending his pre-race advantage to four points over Richard Antinucci.

It is the Brazilian rookie's fifth pole of the season, and his third on an oval in 2008, but he has yet to win a race away from the road and street courses on which he has excelled.

“It's another point that we definitely needed - we have a four-point lead now, and we'll see what happens tomorrow," the AFS/AGR driver admitted, "We're 67 laps away from the title, but there's a lot of work and hard racing tomorrow.

"I feel great about my car, and I feel great about the opportunity. We've been good all year long. We've had some ups and down this season, but we've found good momentum. Hopefully, we can carry this momentum into tomorrow.”

Antinucci title hopes will require him to come through from a disappointing ninth on the grid and hope that Matos runs into problems, but the American is determined to give his all in pursuit of the crown.

“I thought we had a little more [in the car] as, in testing in the morning, we ended up pretty well in qualifying trim," he lamented, "But the race is what counts and that's what we spent most of our time doing. Tomorrow is when it's all decided. Rafa got an extra point today, so we just need to go out tomorrow and win the damned thing. It's attack all the way. I need to move as far ahead as I can. There's not much to lose, we have to go for the win.”

Ana Beatriz qualified second behind countryman Matos, tying her best qualifying efforts at Nashville and Kentucky, as the top three from Kentucky in August was repeated by Arie Luyendyk Jr qualifying third.

“It's my first time here at Chicagoland, and we were really focused this morning on race set-up," Beatriz revealed, "After the second practice, we focused on qualifying, and I think my Healthy Choice Sam Schmidt crew did a really good job. I think it was a very good run. I was really wishing I could stay in the top three, so the second position is pretty good. Matos went really, really fast - I don't know what he did, but I'm very confident for the race tomorrow.”

Mike Potekhen qualified a season-best fourth, improving on his previous best of twelfth, last time out at Infineon, and only one place shy of his career-best start, third at Indianapolis in 2007. Behind him, however, the order received something of a shuffle as several drivers found themselves in unfamiliar seats for the finale.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Raphael Matos - AFS/AGR   [pic credit: IRL/Snoddy]
Ed Jones, Dale Coyne Racing, IndyCar [Credit: Ed Jones PR]
Alexander Rossi - Andretti Autosport   [pic credit: Indycar Media/Joe Skibinski]
Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske) celebrates winning the 2016 IndyCar title with victory at Sonoma   [pic credit: Chris Owens]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Ed Jones celebrates winning the 2016 Indy Lights championship
Kyle Kaiser (Juncos Racing) celebrates at Laguna Seca
Kyle Kaiser - Juncos Racing
Ed Carpenter Racing crew working on the boss` car   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Indy Lights action
Indy Lights title contender Santiago Urrutia, Ed Jones, Dean Stoneman, Felix Serralles, Kyle Kaiser and Zach Veach   [pic credit: IndyCar Media]
Santiago Urrutia - Schmidt Petersen Motorsport
Will Power - Team Penske
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to victory at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to pole at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Graham Rahal celebrates victory in the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway   (image credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens)
Scott Dixon leads the Indycar field   [pic credit: Indycar media/Bret Kelley]
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Jones]

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.