Sick Sideways Finishes 2019 with 41 Podiums, 18 Wins and One Championship
 September 27, 2019| 
  • Team News
Monterey, CA, (27 September 2019)- Sick Sideways Racing finishes the 2019 season with 41 podiums, 18 wins and one championship in the Battery Tender® Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Series Presented by BFGoodrich Tires®. Along with a very successful season on the podium, off the track, Sick Sideways clinched the prestigious award, ‘Team of the Year,’ for the second year in a row.

The championship winning team had seven full time drivers and managed to have its competitors on both the ND1 and ND2 podium every weekend. These podium positions included history making as the only full time female in the series, on team Sick Sideways, Sarah Montgomery, drove her car to a podium position four times in a row. In Portland, OR, Montgomery finished both races in the third position and during the final races of the season at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca, she was able to finish both races in the second position.

“As I stated after the Portland races, it is absolutely incredible what these, now four, podiums have done for me and my team,” states Montgomery. “It truly is a dream come true to finish in such a high position against previous championship winners of the series; it hasn’t hit me yet! I can’t thank Sick Sideways and my crew enough for all of their help and hard work this year.”

Making more history, John Dean II, the 2015 Battery Tender® Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Series Presented by BFGoodrich Tires® Champion, walked away from the last race weekend’s event in Portland crowned as the ND1 champion for the 2019 season. Winning 11 of 12 races this year, Dean became the first person in history to win two championship titles in the Battery Tender® Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Series Presented by BFGoodrich Tires®.

John Dean II stated, “This year has been the most fun MX-5 Cup season I have ever had as I had zero car failures and nearly zero crash damage. It was the most fun team atmosphere and the most fun I’ve ever had as it’s like having a bunch of brothers and sisters with you all weekend.” 

At the awards banquet, Sick Sideways was humbled when they were awarded the ‘Team of the Year’ award for the second year in a row. “Mazda hands this award to one team every year who participates in the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Series and to be able to win in two years in a row is a testament to how incredible the team is,” says John Dean II, team owner of Sick Sideways. 

Gresham Wagner, driver of the #5 ND2 Sick Sideways car, commented on how the team deserved the ‘Team of the Year’ award. “The atmosphere on the team was great. From how helpful everyone was on race day, to how much fun we had off the track, I think the entire team worked well to have a successful and enjoyable season.”

Sick Sideways and its drivers prepare for the 2020 racing season as Mazda announced that all ND2 cars will be required to run a sequential gearbox starting next season. 

Overall, Sick Sideways had a fantastic season with many drivers in the top ten for the overall championships. In the ND2 class, Selin Rollan finished the championship second in points with a $20,000 payout. “The 2019 season definitely was a roller coaster with the highest of highs (5 wins) and the lowest of lows, filled with mistakes and very bad luck. That’s just racing,” say Rollan. “I don’t know what I’ll be doing next year just yet, but I do know I will be harping on myself on being as consistent as possible.”

Next in line for ND2 was Drake Kemper with a sixth place position in the series championship for an $8,500 payout. “It’s pretty insane that we had seven podiums, and nine top 5’s for the #99 this year. Yet those three rounds of bad luck put me in 6th place in the final championship points. That really speaks to the competitive nature of the series,” says Kemper.

In the eighth overall position for ND2, Gresham Wagner finished his season very strong with a Battery Tender Hard Charger award during the final race of the season. Wagner stated, “There was a lot of potential this season, and there were some good moments. Unfortunately, it just never completely came together. For a rookie year though, I think I learned a lot and am much more prepared for the future.”

Brian Lockwood, one of the Sick Sideways rookies, finished the ND2 championship in the 13thoverall position. Brian stated, “I had a very difficult season, but Sick Sideways helped me to push through my string of horrible luck and gave me a car that showed flashes of brilliant pace in the closing rounds. The team atmosphere is just unbeatable as everyone is friendly, welcoming and works together well. Being able to ask for help from anybody was a huge factor in my getting up to speed with no prior real-world racing experience.”

Moving to the ND1 class, John Dean II won the overall championship for the series and took home a $100,000 check to use towards ND2 for the 2020 season. Dean stated, “Our team performed fantastically and I think we had the best drivers in the paddock. We had the most podiums, most poles, and most wins this years and the first female driver in the series to podium. The growth I saw from the drivers was absolutely incredible. Very glad to have them a part of the team” 

Next for the ND1 championship is Nathanial Sparks in the third position with a $12,000 payout. Nathanial stated, “2019 was an exciting year for me, learning multi class racing and watching the development of the new ND2 chassis. As always Mazda put on a great show that I was glad to be a part of with my team Sick Sideways.”

Last, but not least, is the Sick Sideways final driver, Sarah Montgomery who finished the ND1 championship in the fourth overall position with a $9,000 payout. “To be completely honest, I am not entirely sure what next year holds for me. I’m pretty good at finding a partner to help me pay for a race season about a week before a season starts, so fingers crossed it will lead me somewhere fantastic,” stated Montgomery. “ I am very pleased to have finished the season on a high note, so very much looking forward to next year.”

Congratulations to the overall championship winner, Bryan Ortiz and his team, Copeland Motorsports, on their first ever championship in the series.

Sick Sideways would like to thank several partners, including Harrison Contracting Co. (Villa Rica, GA.) and many others that have stepped in for the 2019 racing season. To contact Sick Sideways, please email John at and visit their website at
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