Mancuso Shines in Professional Open-Wheel Debut with JDC Motorsports

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Nick Mancuso’s first open-wheel race resulted in a top 10 finish

I can't thank my racing partners Jimmy John’s and INDECK enough and I can't wait to be back in the car this weekend for the Grand Prix of Alabama!”

Rookie Star Mazda driver Nick Mancuso solidified his name as a contender in the professional open-wheel ranks with a solid top-ten finish in this past weekend’s St. Petersburg Grand Prix. The formula car newcomer drove a strong race, advancing from 13th position on the grid and eventually bringing the Jimmy John's/INDECK car home in 7th place. The 45 minute race through the streets of St. Petersburg, FL was punctuated by several caution periods and exciting restarts.

“Wow, what a race!” stated Mancuso. “It truly was a street fight in the #27 Jimmy John's/INDECK car. This was the first open-wheel race I've ever done, so I'm very happy to have moved up through the field and finish 7th. It's truly a testament to the JDC team and my chief mechanic Dave Hoppel that I was able to do so. At one point, I was run over by another car that flew over the top of me so I am glad to have finished at all; let alone inside the top-10!"

After his first Formula One-style standing start and a strong charge towards the front, Mancuso looked set to finish the race in 5th position until contact in Turn 1 nearly took him out of the race entirely. "I arguably should have finished inside the top 5 until another driver tried an overly ambitious move in Turn 1. That stuff happens and I considered myself lucky to be able to finish the race at all after some of what I saw out there. Given my limited seat time in these Mazda racecars it's very important that I do everything in my power to finish every race. It's been a dream of mine for a long time to race these cars and I still can't believe it is actually happening. I can't thank my racing partners Jimmy John’s and INDECK enough and I can't wait to be back in the car this weekend for the Grand Prix of Alabama!”

A native of Lake Forest, Ill., Nick Mancuso joins JDC Motorsports in the Star Mazda Championship this coming season having raced exclusively in the sports car ranks in his young racing career. First getting behind the wheel in 2006, he immediately steered his way into victory lane, winning numerous races in SCCA Regional Sports 2000 competition. That trend continued one year later in National competition, culminating in a third place finish in the year-end SCCA National Championship Runoffs, and the Jim Fitzgerald Rookie of the Year award. Making the move up to the pro racing ranks, Mancuso was selected to take part in the inaugural Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup in 2008, before racing in the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 in 2009. Last season, the Illinois racer contested one race in the SCCA World Challenge, piloting an Aston Martin DB9 in the GT class. In addition to his racing activities, Mancuso is an 'extreme adventurer' with hobbies that include SCUBA and free-diving, Krav Maga, skydiving and capturing reptiles in the wild. In addition, he was inducted into the cum Laude Society in 2004 and in 2005 he was made a member of the National Honor Society and chosen as a National Merit Scholar. He was born December 31, 1986.

Additional information on Jimmy John’s can be found at http://www.jimmyjohns.com

Additional information on INDECK can be found at http://www.indeck.com

For more information on Nick please visit http://www.NickMancusoRacing.com and follow him on Twitter @nickmancusorace

For more information on Star Mazda please visit http://www.StarMazda.com

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Photo: © 2011 EM Photo, all rights reserved

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Cassie Carver

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