Stefan Rzadzinski wins ROC Factor North America vote

Rzadzinski in 2013. Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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Edmonton native Stefan Rzadzinski used a strong social media campaign, a wealth of local support from his home country and a genuine presentation of his desire to race against his racing heroes to capture the ROC Factor North America vote and compete in the Race of Champions in Miami later this month, on January 21-22.

The 24-year-old will compete in the Race of ChampionsĀ as his countryman James Hinchcliffe’s teammate, in the second edition of ROC Factor. Bradley Philpot competed rather well last year in England.

Rzadzinski and Conor Daly, Verizon IndyCar Series driver and like “Razzle Dazzle” a talented young driver, emerged as the leading contenders among the 10 finalists, a list that also included up-and-coming Mazda sports car racer Glenn McGee and IMSA Radio pit reporter Shea Adam among others.

Several Canadian outlets profiled Rzadzinski, who competed in all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires from 2011 through 2013 before heading back to his home country and winning races in the Nissan Micra Cup ranks. Rzadzinski pioneered a new winning style – “reverse donuts” – in Micra Cup races.

A persistent social media push was also enough to keep Rzadzinski’s name alive and well, while Daly drew ardent support from his compatriots in the IndyCar series.

In the end, Rzadzinski, who just turned 24 on Thursday, emerged victorious. Both he and Daly were classy and gracious about the result, Daly among those to offer congratulations on social media.

Argentine native Gabriel Glusman won the ROC Factor Latin America vote for the opportunity to partner with another IndyCar driver, three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves.