A Spec Miata stalwart and recipient of the Spirit of Mazda award leaves a big hole in the Mazda community
Dave Wheeler — racer, owner of Advanced Autosports, writer of The Spec Miata Constructor’s Manual, one of the first recipients of the Spirit of Mazda award and a friend to Mazda racers everywhere — passed away on December 12, leaving a massive hole in the Mazda Motorsports community. He joins his wife, Ann O’Malley, herself a posthumous Spirit of Mazda winner, who passed away earlier this year.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorials be made in Dave’s name to Lemons of Love. You can do so by clicking here.
“First and foremost, he cared about his family and took care of them above all else, always,” says John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports. “Losing Ann was a big blow, but he kept busy and tried to focus on his family.
“Second, Dave was and always has been, through and through, a racer. What he accomplished by building a successful racing business is rare. Yet, he did this by focusing on giving his customers good value and an even better experience. Don’t get me wrong, he had fun as a driver, for sure, but I think he got even more enjoyment out of seeing his customers enjoy themselves behind the wheel and at the track. Dave was a racer who built a business for racers. Frankly, he did what we stand for at Mazda.”