Experience the Joy of Watching a Honda Odyssey Overtake a Mazda Miata on the Race Track

Minivans are cool, and I’ll prove it. The Minivan is the most practical car on the road. In recent years, models like the Honda Odyssey seat seven, get killer gas mileage, have TVs, and still have nearly 300 horsepower. Although the race track isn’t where we tend to see vans, watching this Honda Odyssey pass a Mazda Miata on the racetrack is so satisfying that you almost can forget what you’re seeing. 

A silver Honda Odyssey in front of a city skyline.
2022 Honda Odyssey | Getty Images

Are there any fast minivans? 

They are if you get some boys from Alabama to drive it. While I do believe that in my heart, as a journalist, I guess it’s my responsibility to remind you, dear reader, that that comment isn’t fundamentally true, no matter how much I wish it were. But I digress. 

However, some guys from HART, an Alabama-based racing team, are trying their best to make minivans faster. The team’s tightened-up Honda Odyssey is a known competitor making a play from the Gridlife Touring Cup. 

According to The Drive, with a little help from tuning the suspension, slapping on sticky tires, and plenty more, the team, formally known as Honda Manufacturing of Alabama Team (HART), is thrashing Miatas on the track. The amateur racing team is made up of guys from Honda’s Alabama assembly plant. Starting in 2006, the group would wrench on their racers after work, which they still do, but now Honda is chipping in with some parts and other support. 

What can you do to make a Honda Odyssey faster? 

HART’s current racer is a 2018 Honda Odyssey with several improvements. First, they gave it a facelift with the front and rear facias from a 2021 Honda Odyssey. Although the 2021 Odyssey is a sportier-looking model, the serious front splitter is actually sporty. The Honda rides low on Megan Racing coil-overs, while the interior has been stripped, caged, and race-prepped for safety out on track.

The team is used to running super-tuned engines. However, the Honda minivan is almost completely stock under the hood except for an RV6 J-pipe exhaust upgrade. It even still has the stock 10-speed automatic transmission. The brakes were upgraded along with a set of Enkei Raijin 19-inch wheels wrapped in sticky race rubber. Brakes and proper tires will help make faster lap times than more power will.

This Honda Odyssey does more than just burn Miatas

When this nimble giant isn’t choppin’ Miatas on the track, it is doing charity work. ​​The Odyssey works with Racing For Children’s, and even served as a safety car for a Radical race at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.

Even more, than I love seeing a Honda Odyssey on the race track, it’s even cooler to see Honda supporting an amateur race team. The minivan aspect makes the support and the races even cooler. It’s a nice reminder that we ought not to convince ourselves that motorsports are more serious than they are. 

I’ve been a deacon in the church of the Honda Odyssey for a long time. It’s really satisfying to see the Odyssey absolutely crush it on the racetrack. It’s a feeling that I always knew should be true but never really had any evidence for it. Now I can say with unabashed confidence that the Honda Odyssey is not only one of the best cars on the road, but it’s also a contender for your next racecar build. 

RELATED: 2021 Honda Odyssey Review, Pricing, and Specs