It was a very good year

Posted by Iannucci | 10/07/2008 | 4 comments »
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When I was twenty-six
It was a very good year
It was a very good year for racing cars
With many victories
I raced and as I pleased
Oh yes, I got my kicks
When I was twenty-six


Since turning 26 on August 28 of 2007, Raphael Matos has had a most extraordinary year. OK, maybe slightly more than a year has passed since that day, but it’s been quite an eventful time for Matos. And by eventful I mean successful.

After winning a stunning 6 of the first 10 races of the 2007 Atlantics season, it was clear that Matos would emerge as the champion and the latest beneficiary of the $2M bonus towards a Champ Car ride. Matos however was not excited about the possibilities, so he effectively ripped up the check and took his driving skills to the IndyCar series, agreeing to drive for Andretti Green in the Indy Lights in 2008.

Matos then went on to win 3 races in the Indy Lights series, but more importantly he claimed another series championship. This shouldn’t be such a surprise because Matos won the Star Mazda series in 2005, which means he has won 3 championships in 4 seasons. As if that isn’t enough to pad the resume, he also managed to mix in a couple wins in the Rolex Grand-Am series as well.

And today the payoff, from Curt Cavin.

Raphael Matos is finally moving to the top of open-wheel racing's ladder.

The champion of the top U.S. development divisions -- Champ Car's Atlantics in 2007 and the Indy Racing League's Indy Lights this year -- has landed a ride in the IndyCar Series for next season.

Matos, a 27-year-old Brazilian, will drive the No. 12 car of Luczo Dragon Racing, replacing Tomas Scheckter, who does not have an IndyCar Series ride.
Driving for Jay Penske’s budding team? Oh yes, a very good year indeed.

(Photo: TracksideOnline.com)

4 comments

  1. Brian McKay // October 07, 2008 9:40 AM  

    I've never liked crashmaster Tomas since I first saw him at Homestead way-back-when. What an erratic loser. Rafael certainly deserves a seat, and AGR & other top-tier teams don't have a funded car for him, so... I wish him well.

  2. Goose // October 07, 2008 1:06 PM  

    Great to hear this news. He deserves it and I hope he makes the most of this opportunity.

  3. AZZO45 // October 07, 2008 3:50 PM  

    Thought he had a longer AGR deal... must have been an "out" clause if Mikey didn't have $$$ to bring him up to the IRL's top rung???

    Still don't understand why Matos bailed out on the BP Mazda LMP2 ride this weekend... Honda has issues with him driving a Mazda? Penske drivers were racing Porsches.

  4. Carrie // October 07, 2008 4:50 PM  

    So, is it a full time deal? Hope Luczo's half-shafts are Rafa-proof because they sure weren't Tomas-proof.