GLENDALE, Arizonia -- In his first race ever, outside of karting, Michael McDowell made a statement by qualifying on the front row and finishing on the podium at the challenging Sears Point Raceway. Now the seventeen year old from Glendale, Arizona, looks to impress again as he continues to make the transition from the karting ranks into open-wheel competition, signing with Star Race Cars to compete at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on September 20-22 in the car previously driven by Scott Speed.
"I'm looking forward for the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a Formula Mazda again, and to be signed by the factory team to race at a track like Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is awesome," McDowell said. "With the series as competitive as it is, it's a great place for a driver to display his skills and an honor that the team chose me to fill the seat. Now I'm looking to reward their confidence in me with results."
In addition to racing under the Star Race Cars banner, McDowell is excited to bring his karting sponsors up to the nationally televised Star Mazda Series North American Championship. "My sponsors at MMI Karting, Sparco, No Fear, Western Titanium, and Mega Metals have supported me in karting," McDowell commented, adding, "now, as I prepare to make my second start in a Formula Mazda, it's great to continue to have their support."
Already a national karting champion, McDowell made people stand up and take notice of his driving skill at Sears Point, a skill that caught the eye of Star Race Cars Team Manager, Mark Rodrigues, and opened up the opportunity for McDowell. "With a podium finish in his debut race, Michael definitely impressed me," Rodrigues said. "He was locked in a tight battle all race long and held his own against more experienced drivers. When we started looking for someone to take over he was at the top of our list."
The Star Mazda Series is a featured support series at American Le Mans Series events in the United States and Canada with all nine rounds televised nationally on Speed Channel. For more information about the series please visit www.starmazda.com.