Minnesota squad poised to once again challenge for top honors in Indiana with talented line-up
MINNEAPOLIS, MN. – Title contenders JDC MotorSports return to racing action this Saturday (May 26), when the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda takes to the banked-oval at Lucas Oil Raceway. With a talented driver line-up that features rookies Neil Alberico, Michael Johnson, and veteran Chris Miller, the junior formula car championship squad is focused on making another trip to the 'Night Before the 500' podium in Round Five.
After a lengthy racing hiatus - which last featured the USF2000 cars on the streets of St. Petersburg in Florida back in March - the JDC MotorSports drivers and crew will face a once-a-season challenge on Memorial Day weekend...oval racing. As part of the famed 'Night Before the 500' event, which is a traditional part of the lead-up to the renowned Indianapolis 500, Alberico, Johnson, and Miller will get the chance to race a formula car on an oval. While both Alberico and Johnson enter Round Four with no previous oval experience, and Miller having only had limited runs, the highly-regarded trio will not be going into the premier event empty-handed.
JDC MotorSports was recently part of the official one-day USF2000 test at the 0.686-mile oval. With Alberico, Johnson, and Miller all getting behind the wheel, the trio gathered a great deal of valuable data and experience, which is essential given the technical nature of oval competition. The test also allowed the young racers to put into practice the information learned one day prior during the Mazda Road to Indy Oval Clinic, which featured motorsports leaders such as IndyCar Series team owner Ed Carpenter, former Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Steve Knapp, and former Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal. This was evident, with Miller and Alberico second and fourth quickest respectively in the opening session, and Johnson - who is paralyzed from the chest down - impressively going 10th fastest in the second session.
In addition to the test day, the JDC racers can draw on the expertise of JDC's superb staff of engineers and mechanics, which have helped the team earn a podium finish in each of the last two USF2000 races at Lucas Oil Raceway.
"This series test at Lucas Oil Raceway was my first oval experience, and it went quite well," stated the 19 year-old Alberico, who pilots the No. 19 Kartel Motorsports/Bondurant School/RaceLite Protection/ Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports entry. "I'm confident that JDC has given me a good car, and now it's just up to me to bounce back from my last two races and put the car where it deserves to be - up front. I'm super excited about the chance to race and showcase my skills during the 'Night Before the 500' and be part of the Indianapolis 500 festivities."
"I'm really looking forward to running at Lucas Oil Raceway," commented Johnson, driver of the No. 54 Universal Coating/Alpinestars/Coloplast/FlatOutNation.com/Red Line Oil/ Movement Arts Motorsports Marketing/JDC MotorSports car. "My first oval race in the dark! I should learn a lot and have a lot of fun."
"I'm really looking forward to getting back in the car and racing in Indy," added Miller, who will be behind the wheel of the No. 85 Miller Milling Company/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports entry. "We were pleased with the way the test went, and I am confident we will have a quick car that can run up front."
The continued chase for Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda victories continues for JDC MotorSports with Round Five at Lucas Oil Raceway. Pre-event testing takes place on Friday (May 25), with three hours on-course. The lone oval event on the series schedule officially commences on Saturday (May 26), with two 30-minute practice sessions prior to single-car qualifying. The 'Night Before the 500' race is slated to begin at 7:40 pm local time under the lights. Live timing and scoring will be available at www.f2000.com/Multimedia/Live.aspx.
JDC MotorSports races with associate sponsorship from www.RedLineOil.com.
Additional information on JDC MotorSports can be obtained from the team’s website @ www.jdcmotorsports.com. For direct contact, please contact John Church @ 952-233-3075.
Learn more about Neil Alberico at neilalberico.com and keep up to date via Twitter @ NeilAlberico and his Facebook page @ Neil-Alberico-Racing. Learn more about Scott Hargrove at scotthargrove.com keep up to date via Twitter @ Scott_Hargrove and his Facebook page @ ScottHargroveMotorsports. Learn more about Michael Johnson at michaeljohnsonracing.com keep up to date via Twitter @ Racer54isCool and his Facebook page @ Michael-Johnson-Racing. Learn more about Zac Silver at zacsilver.com keep up to date via his Facebook page @ Zac Silver.
### About JDC MotorSports:
Involved in formula car racing since its inception in 1994, JDC MotorSports has established itself as one of the leading junior open-wheel teams in North America. Initially making its mark in the F2000 class of club racing competition, JDC MotorSports was soon a team worth watching in the pro ranks. Competing in the Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship, the team not only won races, but also helped develop multiple young drivers. In 2005, JDC MotorSports expanded its efforts, entering the Star Mazda Championship. Quickly becoming one of the top teams in the series, JDC captured both the driver and team titles in 2007, as well as Rookie of the Year honors, with Dane Cameron scoring a series-high three wins. In 2008, JDC MotorSports was the runner-up in the Star Mazda Championship and finished fourth in its inaugural season of F2000 Championship Series competition. The Minnesota-based team won the Star Mazda Championship title with Rookie of the Year Adam Christodoulou, and the F2000 Championship Series title with Chris Miller in 2009. The following year, JDC continued its winning ways, earning the Rookie of the Year award in the Star Mazda Championship with Connor De Phillippi, and scoring a non-points win in the USF2000 National Championship. In 2011, the Minneapolis-based squad captured its third Star Mazda Championship title with Tristan Vautier, scored a win in the USF2000 National Championship, and made its Prototype Lites Championship debut, earning five podium finishes. JDC MotorSports will contest the Star Mazda Championship, USF2000 Championship and Prototype Lites Championship in 2012.