Miller joins the JDC MotorSports squad having recently completed a successful test with the team at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in California. Thanks to funding via Mazda Motorsports’ driver development program, the reward for winning the 2007 Skip Barber National title, the teenager from California will contest the entire 12-race Star Mazda schedule this coming season. Working with newly re-signed race engineer Rick Cameron, Miller will be part of a multi-car team, partnering with yet-to-be-named drivers. Miller, 19, becomes the third consecutive Skip Barber National champion to enter the Star Mazda Championship, following in the footsteps of Gerardo Bonilla and Jonathan Goring. The personable pilot will be seeking to provide JDC with its second consecutive, driver, team and rookie championship titles.
“We are very pleased to have Joel driving for us in 2008," stated JDC MotorSports Co-owner John Church. “I’ve known Joel for a long time and he is not only a very talented driver, but also an exceptional young man. He was quickly up to speed in testing and has already bonded with Rick [Cameron]. I truly believe that he will not only challenge for wins, but be in contention for both the Rookie of the Year and series title next year."
Miller echoed Church’s comments, hinting that he will be looking to take a run at the title in 2008.
“I’m looking forward to racing with JDC in the Star Mazda Championship," stated Miller. “I’ve known John for a while and after working with Rick in testing, it was an easy decision picking JDC as the team I would drive for next year. I can’t thank Mazda enough for this opportunity. Now I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel and begin working towards what I hope will be another championship-winning season."
A native of Hesperia, Calif., Miller enters the Star Mazda Championship having already established himself as a winner. First getting behind the wheel via local kart racing, Miller quickly became not only one of the leading karters in the region, but in all of North America. This culminated in 2006, when he captured the Star of Karting Intercontinental A national championship. Prior to winning this prestigious title, he had already made his car racing debut. As part of PR1 Motorsports driver development program, he extensively tested a Formula Ford in 2003. The following year, he entered and won his first pro race in the Pacific F2000 Series. With limited financial backing, he raced only a limited number of Skip Barber races in 2005 and 2006, winning in his National series debut.
Like many, it took some help to get him into a car full-time and thanks to a series scholarship earned via the Skip Barber Karting Shootout, the Californian competed in the Skip Barber National full-time this past season. Making the most of the opportunity, he captured the series title with a series-high five wins. In addition to racing in Skip Barber, Miller traveled to England and competed in the Formula Palmer Audi Autumn Trophy as a Team USA Scholarship winner.
Based in Minnesota, JDC MotorSports has quickly established itself as one of the top junior-open wheel teams in North America. Co-owned and operated by motorsports veteran John Church, the team enjoyed its best season to date in 2007. With series rookie Dane Cameron leading the charge, JDC captured both the driver and team titles in the Star Mazda Championship in its second full-season of series competition, scoring a series-high three wins. Prior to racing in the Star Mazda Championship JDC MotorSports competed in the Cooper Tires Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship, winning multiple races. With a reputation for developing talented young drivers, the team will expand its efforts in 2008, fielding multi-car entries in both the Star Mazda Championship and the F2000 Championship Series.
Following a short break for the holiday season, Miller and JDC MotorSports will commence an extensive winter testing program ahead of Round One of the Star Mazda Championship at Sebring International Raceway on March 13 as part of the Mobil1 12 Hours of Sebring event.