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Why is this Mazda MX-5 Miata Race Driver Smiling?

He won a scholarship, and it’s not for college.

The dude in this photo with the cheeky grin is Robby Foley. Foley is in engineering school at Auburn University but has a great part-time job. He drives MX-5 Cup Miatas around race tracks as fast as possible when he isn’t studying. Hard work, but someone’s got to do it. He does it so well Mazda singled him out to be the recipient of a $100,000 scholarship.

He won’t be spending that money on tuition at Auburn, though. Instead, he is using it to help move his racing career to the next level by taking it to the Atlanta Motorsports Group racing team. As a member of said team, he will compete in the 2016 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires.

Racing Miatas don’t come cheap. Actually, scratch that, they are possibly the most affordable race cars ever created. Still, racing is pricey. A 2016 MX-5 Cup car costs about $53K. That is just the car. Tires add up, even when they are narrow and fitted to a car that is pretty easy on rubber.

Robby Foley commented on his scholarship, saying, "Winning the Mazda scholarship has been a goal of mine ever since I began racing cars. There truly is no other defined ladder system where young drivers receive such great support and are given the opportunity to learn about all aspects of motorsports. I am so honored to join past champions and proven talents on the Mazda ladder system and take on a bigger role within the Mazda family.” With words that eloquent, if the racing and engineering thing doesn’t work out he may have a bright future in PR.