JDC MotorSports Racers Gain Oval Experience During USF2000 Championship Trip to Lucas Oil Raceway
 May 31, 2013| 
  • Team News
Johnson, Rzadzinski, and Toppe exited Night Before the 500 event with valuable points

MINNEAPOLIS, MN. – The prestigious Night Before the 500 event on Saturday (May 25) proved to be an experience building affair for the skilled JDC MotorSports trio of Michael Johnson, Stefan Rzadzinski, and Clark Toppe. Contesting the lone oval on the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda schedule at Lucas Oil Raceway, the racers learned a great a deal en route to earning always important points.

As part of the festivities leading up to the 97th running of the famed Indianapolis 500, the USF2000 Championship field got their lone opportunity to go 'circle track' racing at Lucas Oil Raceway during the historic Night Before the 500 event. Given Johnson was the only JDC racer having previously raced an USF2000 entry on an oval, the goal was to make the most of this new racing experience and exit the event with valuable points.

The action in central Indiana commenced on Friday with three afternoon test sessions. As planned, the JDC drivers and crew spent the runs working on car balance around the 0.686-mile banked oval. Rzadzinski wasted little time getting comfortable behind the wheel, twice cracking the top-four in his No. 93 CanTorque/Christenson Developments/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports racing steed. Toppe likewise impressed by posting a top-eight time in the second session. Johnson, who pilots the No. 54 Universal Coating/SpeediCath/FlatOutNation.com/ Red Line Oil/Bell Racing/Alpinestars/JDC MotorSports entry via hand controls, was making steady progress as well, until his day came to an early conclusion following a spin and contact with the concrete retaining wall.

When race day got underway one day later, the JDC MotorSports awning featured a confident group of racers, and three cars ready to go, thanks to some great work by the highly-skilled crew.

First up were a pair of practice sessions, allowing the USF2000 drivers and teams to further fine tune their cars. Rzadzinski once again led the JDC contingent, going fifth and seventh fastest in the two outings.

After a brief break it was time for single-car qualifying, with each racer getting two flying laps to post their best combined two-lap time. For the JDC trio it proved to be a mixed affair. Rzadzinski once again showed good pace, albeit not as fast as he had hoped, earning a row five starting position via the ninth best time. Johnson never found the rhythm he wanted, posting the 19th quickest time, while Toppe, in a repaired No. 19 Toppe Motorsports/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports entry following a crash in practice, likewise could not find the speed he desired, going 20th best.

Following the conclusion of qualifying, it was time to go over changes for the upcoming 70-lap race under the lights. Adding a further wrinkle to any plans or strategy, the weather conditions continued to change, with increasingly overcast skies and threat of rain.

Returning to the cockpits a few hours later, a large and enthusiastic crowd greeted Johnson, Rzadzinski, Toppe, and the rest of the USF2000 Championship field for Round Five. In what was a very entertaining all green affair, the three JDC racers were involved in multi-car fights for position from start to finish. In the end, the trio gained lots of race experience and valuable points, with Rzadzinski coming home in 10th, Toppe crossing the line in 18th, and Johnson taking the checkered flag in 19th.

"Being in Indianapolis and racing on the Night Before the 500 was very special," commented Rzadzinski. "We had a car that felt really strong through all of the testing and practice runs, and I was really looking forward to the race. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite get it 100% right for the main event, and struggled with pace a little bit. A top-10 in this competitive field is nothing to be ashamed of, and I’m happy we brought the car home safely. I can’t wait to get back in the seat on Canadian soil and fly through the streets of Toronto in July."

"This was my first oval race, so it was different turning left all the time unlike all the road courses I'm used to," added Toppe. "I definitely learned a lot, and will use that information next year. JDC really gave me a great car to learn and succeed with. Also a big thanks to Phil Lombardi with JJRD for all of the excellent spotting and coaching."

"The race went very well in terms of my driving," stated Johnson. "I learned a lot from my crash in practice, and gained a lot of experience completing the entire race. I had my fastest times towards the end of the race, so I'm excited to come back next year and improve!"

The chase for Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda top honors now takes a break until July 13-14, when Rounds Six and Seven are contested on the streets of Toronto, Ont. JDC MotorSports makes the journey to Canada sixth in the team standings.

JDC MotorSports races with associate sponsorship from www.RedLineOil.com.

Additional information on JDC MotorSports can be obtained from the team’s website @ www.jdcmotorsport.com For direct contact, please contact John Church @ 952-233-3075.

Learn more about Michael Johnson at MichaelJohnsonRacing.com and keep up to date via Twitter @ Racer54isCool and Facebook @ Michael Johnson Racing.

Learn more about Stefan Rzadzinski at www.RzadRacing.com and keep up to date via Twitter @ RzadRacing and Facebook @ Stefan Rzadzinski.

Learn more about Clark Toppe via Twitter @ ClarkToppe and Facebook @ Clark Toppe Racing.


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 added to its Star Mazda Championship win tally, USF2000 Championship podium total, and finished as the Prototype Lites Championship runner-up in 2012.

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