July 14, 2020 – Last year’s Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich® Tires® doubleheader at Road America carried the title of The Alana Long 100, in honor of a special member of the Mazda Motorsports family. This year’s event at Road America continues that tradition as the Mazda MX-5 Cup events at the Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin track have been named in her memory.
Alana Long was the matriarch of the Long Road Racing family. Long Road Racing was the original builder for the Mazda MX-5 Cup car. Wife to Glenn and mother to Tom and Chris, Alana could be found at a different race track each weekend, supporting her family of Mazda racers. Sadly, in April of 2019, Alana lost her battle with cancer.
Road America was Alana’s favorite race track, and the Mazda Motorsports community saw it fitting to name the event in her honor in perpetuity.
A charity close to Alana’s heart and to the MX-5 Cup series, Lemons of Love, hosted a lunch at last year’s Alana Long 100. Lemons of Love creates care packages for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and was founded by cancer survivor Jill Swanson. Since 2014, Lemons of Love worked with Long Road Racing to raffle a brand-new MX-5 Cup car as a fundraiser. Previous winners include MX-5 Cup drivers Drake Kemper and Danny Bender.
The torch has now been passed to the series’ new partner, Flis Performance. This past Independence Day, at the Flis Performance shop in Daytona Beach, Florida, the 2020 raffle winner was chosen. For the cost of a $500 ticket, Art Schmidt won himself a MX-5 Cup race car.
Alana’s legacy lives on not just at Road America, but at each and every MX-5 Cup race in the form of son Tom, who works as a driver steward in race control.
“The Mazda community is such an important part of our family, not only from a competitive standpoint, but the spirit that the teams and drivers embody,” Long said. “I know she would be absolutely humbled by the outpouring of support and camaraderie this community has given us. Road America is such a special place and I couldn’t think of a more fitting venue to honor her. For that, we are forever grateful.”
The Alana Long 100 has become the 2020 MX-5 Cup season opener, July 23 – 24, as the series returns to racing following an extended break for COVID-19.