Down But Not Out

After suffering an injury and heavy damage to his car during the Indinapolis 500, Raphael Matos and his team de Ferran Dragon Racing hopes to bounce back with this weekend's Firestone 550k at Texas Motor Speedway.

With both of its cars heavily damaged in last weekend's race, the team had to put together a quick turnaround to be able to make it to Texas. As a result their were forced to shrink from two cars to one, which Matos will pilot.

Team owner Gil de Ferran isn't discouraged by last weekend's outcome but instead is looking at the overall body of work in Indianapolis as positive as his team heads to the Lone Star State.

"On balance, we had a good month of May in Indianapolis," he said. "The guys did a really good job in a short period of time, as we grew into a two-car team. The preparation that went on and all of the work everyone did to make us one of fastest cars is to be commended.

"Even though the race didn't go the way we hoped, we put on a good show in qualifying and certainly in the early stages of the race, that is something we should be proud of. Onwards and upwards."

Matos will seek to regain the early season results that put him in the top 10 in the season point standings as he climbs back into the team's No. 2 HP entry. He averaged 25.3 points over the first three races of the IZOD IndyCar season, but just 13.3 in the following three. Matos has raced once at Texas Motor Speedway, starting 15th and finishing 12th during his rookie campaign a year ago.

"The experience I got there last year is going to help me a lot and I feel like we learned some things in Indy that we can carry over to Texas," said Matos. "It's a very fast track, very impressive to see the IndyCars there. The corners are relatively tight and the high banking makes it very fast.

"You can run different lines during the race and that's very important. I had my very first test with the team there last year. We also collected data from Davey (Hamilton's) test a couple weeks ago and we have his input. We talked about the car after his test and we'll be able to carry all of that into the race this weekend."

The Firestone 550k takes the green flag Saturday night at 8 p.m. (ET) with live coverage on VERSUS.

Race Center

Auto Club 500

@ Auto Club Speedway
Saturday, October 19, 2013
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