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Firestone Indy Lights: Mid-Ohio 100 Race 1

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Mid-Ohio 100

Firestone Indy Lights: Mid-Ohio 100 Race 1

Richard Antinucci
Raphael Matos
Franck Perera
July 19, 2008


THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, here are your podium finishers for Round 11 of the Firestone Indy Light Series for 2008. Your winner, Raphael Matos, for AFS Racing. Franck Perera for CJ Consulting Guthrie Racing. And Richard Antinucci for Lucas Oil Sam Schmidt Motorsports.
This is Rafa's third victory of the season. He has won race one of every doubleheader at road courses. So history repeats itself, Richard will win tomorrow. Let's see how that works out.
RICHARD ANTINUCCI: That sounds nice (laughter).
THE MODERATOR: Raphael, you will take over the series points lead, 363 to 360 points with your performance here. Franck Perera, your finish in second finish, your best finish of the season. Richard Antinucci, your seventh top 10 finish of the season.
Let's go right to you first, Richard. It seemed to be an uneventful race for you. Just didn't seem to be able to have the pace to stay up with the guys in front.
RICHARD ANTINUCCI: Yeah, exactly. We had the pace to be third I think today, and that's what we got. Congratulations to Perera and Matos. They were clearly a little bit quicker throughout the majority of the race and we got what we deserved.
But, you know, I'm happy. We've been improving all weekend. I've got to say a big thanks to my LifeLock Lucas Oil Sam Schmidt car. It was a good weekend so far. It started off a little tricky. We were one of the only teams who didn't attend the test about a month ago. So to come here and get on the podium for race one, and Matos drew a pretty good number for us, which means we're starting outside front row for the second race, so we're looking forward to another podium, maybe something even better.
THE MODERATOR: Franck Perera, your best finish of the season after a second-place start. Your best qualifying performance of the season since the first round at Watkins Glen. Comments from you.
FRANCK PERERA: Yeah, it was a good race, you know. Watkins Glen was my first road course with Indy Lights. We had the pole, but we had a difficult race with some problems and I couldn't finish both race.
So I'm here, you know, to learn and try to be back in IndyCar where I was in the beginning of the season. It's good for me to get some experience. Thanks to Guthrie for the ovals and I to do my best with my experience in road course. Is good here. We start in first row. I never seen the track. So was tough to stay there with Rafa, who had a couple miles here in testing.
It's good. We had a good race. I could stay close to him, but not enough. And the car was good to be second. Tomorrow we'll try to do the same and try to be another good result. We'll see.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations.
Rafa, your third win of the season, your first win from the pole since Round 2 at St. Petersburg. I know it's been a tough day for you. You did the first stint in the ALMS race and that didn't come out quite as well as you would have hoped. It's been a hot day. You had a lot of time in the seat.
RAPHAEL MATOS: I feel fine right now. We'll see tomorrow how I feel. The heat was the biggest thing today, losing a lot of liquids, a lot of fluids. It's been tough. You know, a little bit unfortunate the American LeMans race I got hit by a GT car when I was lapping the car. Pretty frustrating. I was just very happy I made it up for Andretti Green. You know, the AFS Andretti Green crew, they did amazing job, they gave me a great car all weekend long. This is definitely a great result for us. I think we're much stronger now today in this season.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, gentlemen. Good luck tomorrow.

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