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Racing Crossovers With The Mazda CX-9

Brian Champagne

The adage “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday” worked for car companies that had race cars. Race fans could see a Chevy or Dodge racer win a race and then buy a car like the one they saw. But with crossovers overtaking car sales, there are fewer car models left to race. However, there may be a solution to the disappearing race cars.

The following is an unedited transcript.

Getting in the CX-9 Mazda loaned us for a weeklong trial, we noticed it has three rows of seats and handles quite well for a seven-seater. We loved the turbo engine and almost everything else except the dial you use to change radio stations.

In Mazda’s latest sales numbers, the CX-9 almost doubled the Mazda6 sedan, and the CX-5 crossover outsold the best selling car Mazda3 by almost 100,000 units.

It’s not just Mazda, which made us wonder if stock car racing was popular because people drove cars like the racers, and when trucks got more popular than cars in the 90s, NASCAR gave us pickup racing.

Now that crossovers have passed up cars, might we get crossover racing? RAV4s vs CRVs, Hyundai Santa Fes versus Chevy Equinoxes, two-rows vs three rows.

We took our question to Trash Car Racing. It’s a circuit in Northern Utah where racers take cars about 20 years old, strip ‘em down, and bump each other while racing around a muddy track. Wayne West runs it.

“I don’t think anyone cares what they’re driving out there,” said West. 

He tried mini-van races, thinking there were plenty of beaters out there…

We took our question out front…

“I don’t think it will happen, but if it does, well then that’s just another thing, another pastime for people to sit down and enjoy.”

That’s Johnny Potter, with a NASCAR race on in the background, helping Ronney Williams with his Deep Smoke Barbecue

“I’m more of a race fan than most people. I grew up my dad raced short track down in Southern California,” said Williams.

Williams says he’s watched everything from go-karts to monster trucks and is game for crossover racing…

“If you wanna get in a pop can and race a pop can, I’m gonna watch…. Because someone’s gonna get hurt,” said Williams.

And in 20 years, most of the 20 year-old vehicles Wayne West’s Trash Car racers will have to pick from will be crossovers, so he might have to open up a new class.

Williams said, “it sounds like that’s where it’s gonna go because whateever’s available, someone’s gonna race it.”

So may we recommend a Mazda CX-9 now because we think it has a great future racing in the mud. 

Brian Champagne grew up in the less-famous Central California but left after starting his television news career there. He worked 22 years in news for NBC, ABC, Fox, and CBS affiliates in four markets. He served as chief photographer for KTXL-TV in Sacramento, but worked in front of the camera, too.