Student Stars

Young Racer Aspires to Compete in the MX-5 Cup Series

by AMY LEHRER | photos by Love, Jayde Photography

Competitive Racer

Matt Million, a Discovery Hills resident since birth who loves mountain biking up to Double Tree Park, began go-karting at 5. Too young to learn to use a gear box on city streets, he practiced driving at different California tracks and attended Driving Concepts, a performance driving school. At 12 he attended his first track day, and at 13 he obtained a provisional racing license, which dropped its provisional status after he completed four successful no-contact races. Matt explained, “[Competitive racing] interests me because it involves a lot of preparation, dedication, skill, and talent to run a top team and to be successful.”

Despite the fact that one wrong move could cause instant defeat, Matt enjoyed participating in the 2014 Season of the Teen Mazda Challenge. He raced on tracks he had raced in video games and found these tracks were not always similar. He gained experience and knowledge from his competitors. Unlike go-kart races that limit races to age groups, Matt could race against players between 14 and 60. With practice, he learned that consistency leads to success. He also found building his own Spec Miata with his dad particularly rewarding and knows everything about his race car.

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Elliot Skeer, a friend who won the 2011 Teen Mazda Challenge, inspires Matt. Elliot became his mentor when he raced go-karts, and Elliot still wins races. Matt appreciates talking to someone who understands his world and what he wants to achieve.

Matt plans to go to college and later find work in the auto industry. His immediate goal, though, is to win the Teen Mazda Challenge for a chance to compete in the Mazda Shootout. The Mazda Shootout winner receives a $75,000 scholarship to race in the MX-5 Cup series, a Mazda ladder program which can lead to bigger opportunities.

A student at recently remodeled San Marcos High School, Matt’s favorite subject is history. “It’s fascinating how past decisions and advancements changed the way we live today,” shared Matt. He’s always been on the honor roll and has held a 3.5 GPA since sixth grade.

Some may find Matt’s fear surprising. “People view racing as crazy and dangerous, but I feel safer in a race car on a track than on our city streets,” confessed Matt. Next October he plans to receive his learner’s permit, but he fears oncoming traffic. On a race track everyone drives the same direction.


Name: Matthew Million (14)
School: San Marcos High School
Grade: 9
Parents: Pete and Tamara Million
Favorite Place in 92078: Double Peak Park

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