MINNEAPOLIS, MN. (July 6, 2009) – JDC MotorSports experienced both the highs and lows of racing this past weekend (July 4-5) at Watkins Glen International, taking part in Rounds Seven and Eight of the F2000 Championship Series. The highlight came in race one of the IndyCar Series doubleheader event, when American Chris Miller led the Minnesota-based team to victory lane, earning his third win of the season.
Unfortunately, one day later, his streak of six consecutive podium finishes came to an end when contact relegated the talented driver to 12th place. JDC MotorSports rookie Alejandro Munoz also shined in race one, earning a career best result of 14th, before an incident ended his event prematurely in race two.
The premier event on the 2009 F2000 Championship Series calendar, the IndyCar Series doubleheader commenced in less than ideal conditions, with heavy rain preventing anyone from turning a competitive time in the lone practice session on day one. That however changed on Friday (July 3), as Miller made the most of a dry track to showcase his skill and pace behind the wheel. The No. 85 Miller Milling/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports Van Diemen RF06/Zetec driver from Edina, MN., not only topped the speed charts during the second practice session, but also secured his third pole position of the season with a new lap record of 1:53.229. While further down the timing charts, Munoz enjoyed his first-ever visit to the high-speed road course as well, improving nine places on his practice position in qualifying.
When the green flag waved for Round Seven later in the day, Miller remained the driver to beat. Overcoming multiple re-starts due to incidents on-course, the talented American never relinquished the lead, posting the fastest race lap en route to his third win of the season and sixth consecutive podium finish. Munoz meanwhile made the most of his strong starting position to bring his No. 96 Black Lion Racing/Redline Oil/JDC MotorSports Van Diemen RF01/Zetec home intact, earning a career best finish of 14th.
With a win, a pole position and a fastest race lap already under his belt at the high-speed road course in upstate New York, Miller entered the second qualifying session of the weekend confident he could once again challenge for top honors. The Minnesota native promptly did just that, narrowly missing out on a second consecutive pole position, earning a P2 starting position when the checkered flag flew. For Munoz, the Saturday morning session did not run quite as smoothly, as the Mexican was unable to get the clean lap he desired, eventually posting the 20th quickest time in the large field.
Rolling on to the 3.4-mile road course just prior to the feature IndyCar Series race, it initially appeared Miller was headed towards a weekend sweep, having passed for the lead in turn one on the opening lap. That all changed however in the second half of the race, as an apparent pass under yellow first shuffled him back to third, before contact with another car resulted in a flat tire. Fortunate to not lose a lap in the subsequent tire change, thanks to superb work from the JDC crew, Miller rallied late in the race, making numerous passes before taking the checkered flag in 12th place. Unfortunately for Munoz, the Mexican’s race proved even more dramatic, as he was involved in first time incident that broke his radiator, ending his race.
The JDC MotorSports F2000 Championship drivers and crew now have a short break before the 2009 season continues at Summit Point Raceway on July 18-19, with Rounds Nine and Ten. As the results from race two at Watkins Glen International remain unofficial following several protests, Miller enters the doubleheader in West Virginia as the provisional championship points leader.