Battery Tender ® Presents Down In The Pits with TLP  
 March 31, 2019| 
  • Series News

            Life in the pits isn’t always glamorous. But when the pit lanes and paddock areas are populated by the racers of the Battery Tender  ® Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires life sure is memorable. This year TLP Talks turns into Battery Tender ® Presents Down In The Pits with TLP. Join me as I take you week-by-week, race-by-race and pit stop-by-pit stop in the 2019 season.

“THE OIL THAT KEPT THE TEAM RUNNING SMOOTHLY” – That’s how Tim Kinzie a traveling mechanic and shop manager at Sick Sideways Racing described his brother, and the “family member” that he and Sick Sideways lost just days before the 2019 season began. Phillip Kinzie was a 27-year old shop hand that was really a lot more than that inside the team headquarters. Located in Sebring, Florida the Sick Sideways Racing shop is at the intersection of U.S 98 and U.S 27. Kinzie lost his life in a traffic accident on the afternoon of Tuesday, March 5th.

“He was the nicest person I’ve ever met,” said John Dean II as he spoke about Kinzie. “I relied on him to do many different jobs around the shop and he was going to come on the road with us this year. We will never stop missing him and thinking about him.”

Phillip was a loving and caring Uncle to his brother Tim's children. Tim said “… Phillip was likely to have more pictures of my kids on his phone than I do."

THE GIRLS CAME TO RACE – Joining the on-track action in Texas were Loni Unser and Sarah Montgomery. Unser made her series debut this past weekend driving with the support of Sick Sideways Racing after competing in Spec Miata back home in Colorado. After mechanical woes kept the youngest member of “America’s first family of racing” off track in practice one, the youngster leaned on her teammates to speed up the learning curve.

One of Loni’s teammates was a driver making her return to Global Mazda MX-5 Cup competition-- Sarah Montgomery. The driver from Louisiana spent last season on the sidelines and even a few sessions in the announcer’s booth working to get back on track. Montgomery showed that she hasn’t missed a beat. A pair of top-five finishes in the ND-1 category has made sure Sarah has a legit shot at the 2019 ND-1 championship and the $100,000 Mazda scholarship that comes along with it.


Racing in his home state, Alex Bochura was hoping to once again race his way into the top ten on board his NO. 14 Slipstream Performance entry. But instead it was a weekend to forget as he was involved in a three car chain of events that saw his race end before it had really even started.

All hopes of a redeeming run in race two were vanquished after a second dose of lousy luck saw him eliminated as an innocent victim before he could even cross the line to complete a lap…He’s one guy who is extra eager to put that behind him at Barber.

GOOD RACERS, GREAT PEOPLE – Both opening rounds of competition in Austin surprised with uncharacteristically tough starts. Race one saw the Guinness Book of Record holder, Robert Noaker take a massive shot in the back half of his car from Alex Bachoura on the opening lap while the field split Noaker’s parked car in the middle of the esses.

Once Noaker was retrieved and returned to the head of pit lane, he began his long walk with helmet in hand back to his team’s pit space at the tail of pit lane.

As he walked members from almost every team came off the wall to wish the 15-year old well, ask how he was, or just pat him on the back. This reminded pit lane reporter that while the racing on track may be intense the men and women who make up the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5.



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