C.J. Wilson, an All-Star Major League Baseball pitcher and professional road-racing team owner, has purchased an all-star Mazda automobile dealership in west suburban Countryside, IL.

C.J. Wilson Mazda, formerly known as the Autobarn Mazda of Countryside, is the newest endeavor of the Wilson Automotive Group, Corp. Sale of the dealership, located at 6060 S. La Grange Road, 100 yards north of Joliet Road, in Countryside, was completed on June 11th. The sale price was not disclosed.

This dealership location has been ranked as the No.1 Mazda dealership in the Midwest by Mazda North America Operations (MNAO) for the past four consecutive years, and is focused to continue this status by keeping the same management team in place, reports Wilson Automotive Group.

“I have always been a car enthusiast, love owning them, driving them and especially racing them,” said C.J. Wilson. “Acquiring this Mazda dealership fulfills a lifelong goal of mine to become a new-car dealer, while perfectly complementing our racing team.”

A 2011 American League All-Star pitcher, today Wilson is a left-handed starter on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim professional baseball club. He signed a five-year, $77.5 million deal with the Angels in December of 2011.

Wilson, 31, has enjoyed great success in his career, both on the baseball diamond and on the automobile racetrack through C.J. Wilson Racing & Entertainment.

As an auto enthusiast, Wilson has loved owning cars, driving autos and especially racing them. Wilson began road racing in 2008 at Road Atlanta, and has raced at least once or twice a year since, noted Jason Saini, of C.J. Wilson Racing & Entertainment.

“C.J. Wilson has raced almost exclusively in Mazda MX-5 Miatas, from MX-5 Cup cars to now our Grand Am Continental Challenge ST car,” Saini said.

Wilson’s first victory was in 2008 at Road Atlanta, in a Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) sprint race at the world-class road course in Northeast Georgia. His first endurance win was in 2010 in the 25-hour competition at Thunderhill Raceway Park in Northern California—the longest road race in America, Saini said.

“On the C.J. Wilson Racing Team, we have both sprint and endurance format racing. In the endurance events C.J. shares the car with other drivers on our racing team,” said Saini.
“However, now that he's on a long-term baseball contract with a busy sports schedule, racing will have to wait,” he said.

Along with C.J. Wilson's Children's Charities, his race-team sponsors include ModSpace, New Balance, Phiten and Oakley.

“I know that I am very well known as C.J. Wilson the Major League pitcher,” said Wilson, who posted a 16-7 record and a 2.94 ERA in 2011, his All-Star season. “But, five years from now when I may be done playing professional baseball, I want to be well on my way to carving a niche in the auto business and motor racing as C.J. Wilson—the car guy.”

While Wilson’s contract now keeps him out of the driver’s seat, one of his goals is to become a professional auto racer after his baseball career.

With the purchase the No. 1 Mazda dealership in the Midwest, Wilson now is taking the next step in the development of his post-baseball investment and business career. C.J. Wilson Mazda intends to offer special C.J. Wilson signature versions of several Mazda vehicles for sale to the general public, Saini said.

Off the field, Wilson has become a pillar in the community for not only his dominance as an All-Star on the professional baseball field, but in his charitable endeavors through C.J.

Wilson's Children’s Charities, an organization that supports children with chronic and terminal illnesses nationwide.

The charity teams up with children’s hospitals to inspire comfort and hope by helping to believe some of the stresses associated with long-term hospital stays. Please visit C.J.
Wilson Children’s Charities website: LeftyLefty.com.

C.J. Wilson Mazda, at 6060 S. La Grange Road in west suburban Countryside, has been ranked as the No.1 Mazda dealership in the Midwest by Mazda North America Operations (MNAO) from 2008 through 2011. For more information, call 708-354-2700, or visit: cjwilsonmazda.com.

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