IndyCar Series Rookie Hits South Beach

Matos joins Miami CVB membership mixer to preview Oct. 9-10 SpeedJam

Rafa South Beach

Matos Poses with Lorraine Chapman

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IndyCar Series driver and Miami resident Raphael Matos recently took a break from training for the grueling 2009 IndyCar season to meet with members of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) at Santo’s Restaurant on South Beach’s trendy Lincoln Road. Matos—who earned a full-time IndyCar Series ride with Luczo Dragon Racing after winning the Firestone Indy Lights Champion last year—did a live Q&A with Miami’s business movers-and-shakers and previewed the Oct. 9-10 IndyCar/Grand-Am “SpeedJam Championships” at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“You see exciting racing here because of the [18-to-20 degree variable] banking,” Matos said of racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway. “It allows you to race side-by-side, and I’ve never seen racing that close in my life!”

As the event extended beyond allotted time, a gracious Matos postponed a scheduled training session to take a few more questions and serve as emcee for the GMCVB’s member raffle, the grand prize of which was two tickets for all Six Championships (NASCAR, IndyCar, Grand-Am Sports Car Series) crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway this fall.  GMCVB member Rachel Larmond-Holmes won the tickets, after which she took a photo with Rafa.

GMCVB Director of Membership Lorraine Chapman—who strayed from the norm in featuring a speaker at one of her monthly events—was thrilled with the appearance by the native Brazilian-turned-Miami resident.

“Homestead-Miami Speedway is doing something very exciting this year with the Six Championships in Six Weeks and has been very gracious,” said Chapman. “We are so glad to have them here. We thought it would be great to get two tickets to the SpeedJam Championships for our giveaway but got two tickets to all Six Championships!”

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