Star Mazda Series Race at Sebring International Raceway Good Start for Joel Miller

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There was no better way to start off Star Mazda’s 2008 Championships Series for Joel Miller. The K&N sponsored driver earned his very first victory of the season at historic Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida.

Formula Mazda driver Joel Miller in Winner's Cicle at Sebring
Formula Mazda driver Joel Miller in Winner's Circle at Sebring
“I’ve always wanted to race in the Star Mazda series,” said Miller, the 19-year old driver from Hesperia, California. “To go in and win the first race made me feel really good.” The series, conducted by Formula Mazda, is designed to develop race-driving talent. Past alumni who’ve graduated from the program include drivers Graham Rahal, Marco Andretti and Scott Speed.
Star Mazda Championship Series winner at Sebring International Raceway
Star Mazda Championship Series winner at Sebring International Raceway

Mazda rotary engine hits 6000 to 8000 RPM in Formula Mazda Series
Mazda rotary engine hits 6000 to 8000 RPM in Formula Mazda Series

Miller kicked off his debut in round one with a stunning win in the qualifying race that placed him in the coveted pole position. After a slow start the No. 2 qualifier Charles Hall took the lead in turn one. Miller, however, was consistent in his strategy and managed to pass Hall after turn 3.

It was smooth sailing from then on for Miller, who’s been dubbed the “Rocket Rookie”. He went on to win the 20-lap race by a 6.6-second margin of victory with the #20 JDC K&N/Skip Barber Mazda.

“This is the first time K & N Engineering has sponsored me in an event,” Miller said. “Everyone at the race commented on how cool our car looked with the K&N flames.”

A cool looking car wasn’t the only thing K & N provided, according to Miller. All Star Mazda series drivers compete in identical open-wheel cars with sequential 6-speed gearboxes and Mazda’s Renesis rotary engines. The Mazda series engines burn hotter and my K & N air filter provided additional airflow to my engine, he said. It also gave the team a competitive edge.

“These rotary engines cook the car because they run in the 6000 to 8000 rpm range,” Miller said. “With our new K & N filter we were able to add .030 of a second.”

Miller is keeping his eye on the future. “I’m looking forward to the rest of the series and I intend to play smarter throughout the rest of the year,” he said, referring to the remaining 11 races left in the series held across North America. He and his team plan to focus on testing throughout the month of April until the series resumes in May.

Follow Joel Miller in the Star Mazda Championship Series throughout the racing season at the K&N news site. Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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K&N Engineering, Inc., with headquarters in Riverside, California, has been the world's leader in performance filter technology since 1969, serving the needs of the automotive, motorcycle, marine, industrial and military markets. K&N is heavily involved in nearly every form of motorsports from off-road and powersports to drag racing, stock cars and road racing. For more information about K&N Filters, please contact K&N Engineering, Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (800) 213-4182 for a dealer near you, (800) 858-3333 for technical service/questions, (951) 826-4001 Fax, e-mail, or visit