News Releases

Mazda Drivers Talk About… Mom
Love Letters In Honor of Mother’s Day

IRVINE, Calif. (May 15, 2017) –  While race car drivers tend to get all of the glory, Mazda wanted to focus a spotlight on their moms for Mother’s Day. We asked our factory and scholarship drivers to tell us about the role their mom has played in their life and career.

Over the weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, six Mazda Road to Indy races took place. Mazda scholarship driver Oliver Askew recorded a clean sweep in the USF2000 class with two poles and two wins while leading every lap. He has now won five consecutive races. His mom, Penny Pernilla, and dad, plus his grandparents who traveled all the way from Sweden joined Oliver at the track. The entire MRTI event promoted Lupus awareness, which is a malady that impacts Askew’s mom. She was able to present her son with the winner’s trophy in the famous Indianapolis victory circle and rode along in the Mazda pace car driven by Oliver before another race.

Oliver Askew, driver, No. 3 Soul Red Mazda, Cooper Tires USF2000 powered by Mazda

“My mom does not come to many races, so it has been an extremely special weekend for her, especially because the event was supported by the Lupus Foundation of America. My Mom has always been supportive, even though some races make her nervous. I would not be here without my mom’s help.”

Joel Miller, driver, No. 70 Mazda Prototype, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

”My mom has definitely been the biggest supporter from day one. She grew up around the race track because her brothers (my uncles) raced karts during their teenage years, so she had the racing bug before I was born. From good days, bad days, and everything in between she has been supportive of my dream. After every race there is the mandatory phone call to fill mom in (haha).”

“Early in my career, while in karts, my mom help keep logs of data for my dad and I. We would come home with lap times, gearing info, set up stuff, etc., and she would make a nice Excel chart for us for when we went back to that track. She loved being involved and was definitely a reason why we won as many races as we did!”

Tom Long, driver, No. 70 Mazda Prototype, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

“My mom played a very supportive role in my racing career, doing just that – being supportive in any way possible. From food prep between/after sessions, to spirit support during the good or bad times, she was there to help. I can always remember her favorite line if things didn’t go as planned when they had all the potential to: ’Well, it’s certainly encouraging?!’  It used to frustrate me to no end at the time, because I was still focused on the result we didn’t get for whatever reason. But several years later, ironically, I find myself saying the same thing to some of my coaching clients whose day didn’t end in an ideal result. Gotta love that!”

Jonathan Bomarito, driver, No. 55 Mazda Prototype, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

“My mom worked incredibly hard as I was growing up and supported my racing passion at every level. She made huge sacrifices while supporting me, and is the most giving person I know! I love you, Happy Mother’s Day!”

Tristan Nunez, driver, No. 55 Mazda Prototype, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

“She’s been my rock through my whole career. I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for her. She’s got the protective momma bear mentality – which can be embarrassing at times – but it gets the job done! All in all she’s the most important woman in my life!”

Aaron Telitz, driver, No. 9 Soul Red Mazda, Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires

A native of Rice Lake, Wisconsin, Aaron was joined at Indianapolis by his mom for his two Indy Lights races.

“My mom is the most supportive person in my life. She knows how to pick me up when things aren’t going well and is right there to celebrate the good times! In a sport like racing it’s great to have that kind of person in your life! Thanks for everything, mom.”

Anthony Martin, driver, No. 8 Soul Red Mazda, Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tires

Anthony’s mom came all the way from Kalgoorlie, Australia to be with him at Indianapolis.

“My mum has supported me through thick and thin. She has pushed me to do what I love all the time whether it was racing, soccer, football and school to name a few. She believes I can do anything and will give me anything in her power to achieve that. Even though chasing my dream of becoming a professional race car driver meant literally moving to the other side of the world, she supported me to make that move. Something not all mothers would think of doing with their children. That just goes to show that she either was really irritated of me being in the house back in Australia or she really loves me that much. I think it’s the second one as being away from your own kid is hard, especially for months at a time. That support that I have from mum means so much to me because I know even though they aren’t at some races in person, they are always watching closely on every technological device known to mankind. She has pushed me this far in chasing my dream and I can’t thank her enough for being a loving and supportive parent. She means the world to me and I couldn’t have been where I am today without her. Thanks mum, I love you!”

Matt Cresci, driver, No. 51 Soul Red Mazda MX-5, Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires

”Needless to say, my mom would have preferred I take up a safer (and cheaper) hobby, but she knows that racing is my passion, and has supported me every step of the way. She keeps me in check!”

Mazda Motorsports

Mazda Motorsports boasts the most comprehensive auto racing development ladder system of any auto manufacturer in the world. The Mazda Road to 24 (#MRT24) program offers a number of scholarships to advance drivers up the sports car racing ladder, beginning with the Global MX-5 Cup series and culminating with the Mazda Prototype team. The Mazda Road to Indy (#MRTI) is a similar program that includes Mazda-powered categories of USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights. In grassroots road racing, more Mazdas race on any given weekend in North America than any other manufacturer. Mazda is also the title sponsor of the renowned Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. Follow all of the latest news at, @MazdaRacing on Twitter, and MazdaMotorsports on Instagram and Facebook.

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Jade Gurss, Mazda Motorsports (317) 517-4121 –
Dean Case, Mazda Motorsports (310) 318-4582 –