Matos signs multiyear contract to drive for Luczo in 2009

Updated: October 7, 2008, 5:20 PM ET
Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- Firestone Indy Lights champion Raphael Matos signed a multiyear contract to drive for Luczo Dragon Racing in the IndyCar Series.

The 27-year-old Brazilian won five poles and three races, all on road or street courses, to claim the championship in the IRL's developmental series last season. He won previous championships in the Atlantic, Star Mazda and Formula Dodge series.

"Not only are we taking that step to full-time status, we are adding a young driver who has proven to be a champion at every level he has raced," Luczo co-owner Jay Penske said Tuesday. "Any time you can win four championships in six years like Rafa has done, you have some special qualities. He is ready for the IndyCar Series, and we are so thrilled to have him."

Penske, son of longtime car owner Roger Penske, made his IndyCar debut with co-owner Steve Luczo with driver Ryan Briscoe's fifth-place finish in the Indianapolis 500 last year. The team competed in six races this past season and finished 24th at Indianapolis with Tomas Scheckter behind the wheel.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press