May 9, 2013 (IRVINE, Calif.) When racers talk about the need to have the complete package to win – balanced chassis, powerful and reliable powertrain, great tires, a brilliant engineer, perfect pitstops by a tireless crew, and a mega-budget, we sometimes forget where many racers receive their most unwavering support: Mom. With Mother’s Day being one of the few days of the year with virtually no motorsports on TV, we asked a few of our Mazda racers to reflect on how their Moms contributed to their career success.
Kenton Koch, Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Challenge: “During the 2008 vintage race weekend at Mazda Raceway, I was sick. My Mom was trying to make me go but at the time I did NOT feel well and refused to get out of bed. So that night I locked my door. The next morning she broke the door lock and dragged me out the door. That weekend we bought my first three-day Skip Barber racing school and that’s where my racing career started. Best Mom award for sure!”
Emilee Tominovich, CJWilson Racing: “My Mom has been a huge supporter of my racing. Whether it’s taking pictures at the track, or helping me come up with promotional ideas, she is always trying to make sure I have everything I need to be as successful as possible. Happy Mother’s Day, love you!”
Tristan Nunez, co-driver, #00 VISIT FLORIDA RACING Mazda6 (Grand-Am GX): “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for my Mom’s determination and pure grit! She was the one who drove the dually with a 46-ft. trailer behind it to take me to all my go kart practices and races. She has made all the decisions to get me where I am now. She does the hiring and isn’t afraid to fire either. She is always looking out for my best interests and will always be on the top step of the podium in my eyes.”
Spencer Pigot, Pro Mazda Championship: “My Mom has been a huge part of my career. She’s done everything she can to support me and my racing. My Mom comes to all the races she can, but sometimes has to stay home and take care of the family business so I can go racing. She’s always thinking of how she can help me. I wouldn’t be where I am without her.”
Bryan Hixon, 2012 Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Challenge Champion: “When I was twelve, my new passion for racing was in-line speed skating at the local skating rink. Always looking for a race, I told my babysitter to let me stay out past my curfew while my parents were out for a dinner party. I won the race, and the babysitter and I made it home before my parents. Unfortunately, the babysitter tattled on me. My Mom said, “I still have to ground you for breaking the rules – but did you win?” Her enthusiasm for my success has kept me motivated to do well in the sport. I am very lucky she is my Mom.”
Russell Walker, SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup: “Racing began during my learning permit days when my Mom expressed what some people call ‘Road Rage’. As my Mom would weave in and out of cars, overtaking other drivers into the brake zone, I started to pay attention – or you could say, she got my attention. As I climbed the ladder, finishing races, my Mom would cheer and say, ‘I taught him everything.’”
Ara Malkhassian, Owner/Driver, ALARA Racing: “My 74 year old, petite mom drives a 2007 MAZDASPEED3. She loves to shift up and down the gearbox and run it through the rev band. When she is at the car wash and they call for the owner of the car, they are always surprised to see her walking up to the car. They often intercept her and verify that she is heading for the right car!”
Robby Foley, Skip Barber Racing School: “My Mom really ties up all of the loose ends, even the little things like making sure my visor strips are straight. She really puts it all together. There was one time where I needed to be at Mid-Ohio during the week, and my Dad had to be somewhere for business, so she, without hesitation, offered to drive me on short notice, and without her I wasn’t getting to Mid-Ohio. I realize how important she has been in my racing career.”
John C Dean II, Sick Sideways Racing: “It was my Mom who introduced me to racing. When I was 10 my Mom bought us our first go-kart. She took my younger brother and me out to our local dirt track for our first time, and I was instantly hooked. Since my Mom retired as a school teacher, she has been to many of my races including driving all the way to Mid-Ohio and Road America last year. As a young racer I had almost no funding, so I was running tires that other racers threw out. I had three different tire brands on the car. My Mom scraped together all she could and bought me a new, proper, set of tires just before one of my races. I won that race and my first championship that year.”
Lucas Bize, Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Challenge: “I am unconditionally thankful for what my mother does to support and further my racing career. She is my team manager. After races, my Mother is always the first to call, either calming me down or ecstatic over the result. Needless to say, my Mom is my biggest fan and motivates me to do all that I can to win every race I enter. Love you Mom!”
Trent Hindman, Mazda Road to Indy Alum: “There are a lot people in the paddock who know who Kim Hindman is, but I really am the lucky one to be able to call her Mom. Since day one, she’s been the most supportive person of my career, and believe it or not she is probably more of a race fan than anyone else out there! There are many times where she makes sacrifices to do anything that will help me on and off the track. She is the most important person in my life. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!”
About Mazda, Mazda Motorsports, and MAZDASPEED
Mazda is the number-one brand for road-racers across North America among both club racers and professionals. Thousands of Mazda powered grassroots racers compete in various classes with the SCCA and NASA highlighted by Spec Miata, the world’s largest spec class with over 2,500 cars built. In 2006 Mazda Motorsports established the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Ladder to assist racers in moving up through the ranks. In 2010 this was expanded to include the Mazda Road to Indy. Key to Mazda’s success is strategic partnerships with the Skip Barber Racing School and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
MAZDASPEED Motorsports is managed by Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). MNAO is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.
Consumer information can be found at www.mazdausa.com, with press information at www.mazdausamedia.com. Racers and fans can follow the action on Facebook (Mazdaspeed Motorsports).