MLB Pitcher C.J. Wilson Forms SCCA Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup Team

Mar. 1, 2011 – ARLINGTON, Texas – A long-time race fan, Texas Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson has taken one step closer to his dream of racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the formation of C.J. Wilson Racing. The new team plans to campaign Mazdas in both the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup and GRAND-AM Continental Tire Challenge for 2011. To create his first professional race team, Wilson has partnered with 2007 MX-5 Cup Champion Jason Saini, who will drive the team’s No. 28 Autobarn Mazda of Countryside/Phiten/New Balance/SunTrust MX-5.

Rangers' pitcher C.J. Wilson is now the owner of an MX-5 Cup team.

The race bug bit Wilson in 2007 after some track days in his Porsche at Motorsports Ranch in Cresson, Texas. A couple of Skip Barber Racing Schools later and Wilson was hooked. His day job pitching for the Texas Rangers prevents him from racing nine months out of the year, but Wilson sees the formation of C.J. Wilson Racing as an investment in his future as a race car driver.

“I wish I could be at the track every weekend,” said Wilson, who is currently at Texas Rangers spring training camp preparing to defend the team’s 2010 AL National Championship. “But honestly, I’m just happy to be in a situation where I can put a racing career on hold to pitch in the majors. Starting a racing team now is the ideal way to make sure I have the right seat waiting for me when it’s time to retire from pitching. It also makes great business sense to start building partnerships now and I have to thank Jason Saini and Mazda for all their help in this process.”

Not just a partner, Saini, the 2007 MX-5 Cup Champion and former co-owner of Motorsports Enterprises Racing (MER), will campaign the team’s MX-5 Cup car with an eye on capturing his second title.

“We’ve gotten to know C.J. and his aspirations over the last couple of years,” Saini said. “This past off-season, C.J. got serious about starting a team and between the two of us we had all the right tools to make it happen. Winning championships with MER over the past five years has been amazing and I wish them all the best. C.J. Wilson Racing will still collaborate with MER, but I couldn’t be more excited about building a successful race team and helping C.J. achieve his dreams behind the wheel!”

C.J. Wilson Racing plans to make a splash with its debut at the MX-5 Cup season opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway, March 4 – 5. As the season progresses, C.J. Wilson Racing plans to expand into the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Challenge ST class, continuing with the Mazda MX-5 platform.

“We’re thrilled that CJ has picked Mazda for his new team,” Alternative Marketing Manager, Mazda North American Operations, Jim Jordan said. “We’ve witnessed his passion at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill and he most definitely embodies the spirit of Mazda drivers everywhere. Teaming up with Jason Saini is a smart decision, as is bringing in Andris Laivins to build the ST MX-5s. It’s going to be fun to watch what CJ and his team bring to the plate in their debut season.”

Another passion for Wilson is C.J. Wilson’s Children’s Charities, which raises funds, awareness and most importantly, youth participation in community service. The charity will be an integral component of C.J. Wilson Racing by helping the team give back to children across the country that are affected by a chronic life-threatening illness, or dealing with financial and social challenges.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the unbelievable energy C.J. Wilson Racing and Mazda will bring to the charity,” Robert Champagne, President, C.J. Wilson’s Children’s Charities. “C.J. and I have wanted to reach outside the North Texas community to make a positive impact on children and communities around the country. The race team and Mazda will give us that opportunity.”

Live timing and scoring for Round One of the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup will be available at Races will be broadcast in cable syndication and posted to the series’ official You Tube page: The series can also be found on Twitter @MazdaMX5Cup.

About C.J. Wilson Racing
Based in Arlington, Texas, C.J. Wilson Racing is a collaboration between successful Texas Rangers pitcher, C.J. Wilson and longtime Mazda motorsports experts Jason Saini and Juliann Pokorny. The team provides car development, driver development and top level arrive-and drive experiences, while presenting a wide media footprint for potential partners. Interested drivers and partners should email C.J. Wilson Racing is proud to partner with Mazda, New Balance, Phiten, SunTrust, Autobarn Mazda of Countryside and C.J. Wilson’s Children’s Charities.

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