Dean completed the podium and was in contention the entire race, having even led twice at the line. Dean’s No. 16 Projections Research/Sick Sideways MX-5 took the final green flag in third and was able to hold the position, fending off the charging James Vance.
“This race was a lot of fun,” Dean said. “A second and a third at my favorite track isn’t bad. I lead a couple laps in there, and we also had some crazy maneuvers going on. There was a lot of side-by-side action in corners that were over 100 mph. It was just a lot of fun.
“We missed the setup this weekend, a little, which was unfortunate. Hopefully, we’ll pick it up at Coronado, because I need to make up some points. I can’t keep letting these guys beat me.
Vance, from just an hour away in Toronto, put on a showfor the crowd, finishing fourth from his ninth-place starting position. The top-five finish in the No. 21 Exposystems MX-5 was an improvement on the last-place finish from Saturday, as a result of a sheared drive shaft that left the car inoperable on the starting grid.
Nathanial Sparks, in the No. 8 OOTSK PERFORMANCE/Sick Sideways MX-5 brought his car home fifth, his third top-five of the season.
Ara Malkhassian lowered his previous race lap record of 1:36.715 (90.594 mph), set during Saturday’s round seven, to 1:35.998 (92.214 mph). Malkhassian drove the No. 11 ALARA Racing MX-5 to an eight-place finish.
Drake Kemper broke through to win his first Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge race, driving the No. 99 Royal Rugby SBMX-5, ending Kenton Koch’s win streak at seven. Kemper also set a new race-lap record at 1:37.355 (90.929 mph).
“The cautions definitely helped me,” Kemper said. “The cautions kept happening because everyone was skating around from the debris left over from the previous races. The American Le Mans Series cars put down some really weird rubber lines that our tires weren’t really working on. Everyone was just hunting to find grip wherever they could.
“Once I put a Mazda MX-5 Cup car between me and the rest of the field, it was game over from there, because of the draft.”
Robby Foley finished second, followed by the No. 97 Jacuzzi SBMX-5, driven by David Knight in third.
Szymczak leaves CTMP with the Mazda MX-5 Cup championship lead, after collecting 468 points. Skeer sit second only six markers behind. Dean keeps himself in the fight, with 424 points on the season.
Following a sixth place finish in Sunday’s Round Eight, Koch still leads the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge championship with 501 points. Kemper gained some ground with the win, but still sits second, trailing by 83 markers. Foley leaves CTMP third, with a collection of 415 championship points.