The Spirit of Mazda: Jonathan Goodale

Colorado racer is always quick to lend a hand or a tool to his fellow competitors.

“Jon is the type of guy that really epitomizes the spirit of Club Racing overall. So when you think of the Spirit of Mazda, you have to start there. He’s the kind of guy that does absolutely everything himself, but he does it because he absolutely loves being at the racetrack and around other racers. And not just being there, but also helping to make sure everyone has the best time possible.”

That’s the voice of Eric Prill, a longtime friend of Jonathan Goodale’s in addition to being Sports Car Club of America’s vice president and chief operations officer and a heck of a Mazda racer himself. What he describes is the sort of thing that makes people want to nominate someone for the Spirit of Mazda award, and Goodale is the third Mazda racer to be so recognized.

Quite often there is one of the seven traits that define the Spirit of Mazda that stands out in an individual deemed worthy. In the case of Goodale, who races a GT-Lite MX-5 in SCCA competition and was third at the 2014 National Championship Runoffs, that is Toimoku, or learning and teaching together for mutual success.

“He is the epitome of a grassroots racer,” says Prill. “If you go to his paddock…we kind of joke about it, but if Home Depot had a motorsports section, Jon Goodale would know where it is. His box truck is like a mobile Harbor Freight, which means that every possible tool that you might ever need is in the back of his box truck. And he’s the guy that’s there to help – lend things to you when you need it, help you weld something up or give you advice.”

Perhaps it’s because Goodale has been around racing and SCCA for a long time that he’s so in love with the sport and so eager to help. His father started autocrossing in 1972 and Goodale’s been involved ever since. But it could be something ingrained in him that makes him want to help people; his day job is as a deputy sheriff in Colorado.

Prill notes Goodale’s first racecar was an Improved Touring S Mazda RX-7, but although he left the Mazda family for a bit, he was eager to get back. His GT-Lite car isn’t quite what one would expect an MX-5 to be (you can read more about it here), but there’s no denying it’s fast and Goodale has made the commitment to be as fast as possible in it.

So, yes, there’s a little bit of the Basics/Flawless Execution and Challenger Spirit  components of the Spirit of Mazda in the way Goodale goes about things, but the fact that he’s always there to lend a tool or a hand are what really sets him apart as embodying that Spirit.

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