The Battery Tender Mazda Global MX-5 Cup Series was at Mid-Ohio last weekend. The championship battle has really taken shape and it’s been fun watching the competitors gain points toward the title, which is so valuable because of the $200,000 Mazda scholarship that goes with it. There is also a $75,000 scholarship to the Rookie of the Year, so there really two titles to watch closely.

Speaking of rookies, we had a new first-time winner this weekend. Robert Noaker made series history as the youngest winner ever at just 14 years old. He drove a really smart race and made multiple last-lap passes for an exciting finish and victory.

Today's MX-5 Cup cars look a little different than mine did in 2005 (top photo)!

Today’s MX-5 Cup cars look a little different than mine did in 2005 (top photo)!

Being at Mid-Ohio for MX-5 Cup makes me think back to my own days racing at that same track in that same series. I have some incredible memories from Mid-Ohio, like winning the 2005 MX-5 Cup championship there. Mid-Ohio is just one of those circuits where I’ve had a lot of success, like finishing on the podium at the SCCA Runoffs, winning the MX-5 Cup Championship and, more recently, podium finishes in IMSA competition. Mid-Ohio is really challenging, but it has treated me well throughout my career.

With memories like that, it was fun for me to see young competitors creating their own great moments at Mid-Ohio during the two MX-5 Cup races there. Due to the tight flow of the track, there was a lot of really close, exciting racing, with incredible last-lap passes in both races that had everybody on the edge of their seats. It was all-around great racing throughout the weekend, and it doesn’t get much better!

All of that excitement has me looking forward to my next event, which is IMSA Continental Tire Challenge at Road America this weekend. Britt Casey, Jr. and I will be back in the No. 77 TRUMPF Audi in the TCR class. This is Britt’s home race, and we had success together at this track last year. Now, we hope to keep the streak alive with another solid finish. Tune in at or on the IMSA app to watch the race live on Saturday, August 4, at 5:05p.m. EDT.