The temperature inside the car was rising as I raced around the historic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca circuit two weeks ago. This was the closest we had been all season to the pace of the leaders. I was passing lapped cars left and right and battling with cars in my class. The team radioed: “Keep pushing!” and I was quicker the next lap by three-tenths of a second. I maintained that pace until a full-course yellow came out. I pulled the No. 70 car right behind the pack, knowing the leaders must pit for fuel. My diesel-powered Mazda had plenty of fuel remaining.
My car was third in line behind two lapped cars that were not in my class. The radio cues in again. “Tristan, you are leading the race.” It was a feeling I can only compare to my first-ever win in a car – it happened at this very track – and the same feelings resonated throughout my body. I had achieved something I had dreamed about…”