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Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP): Rounds 7 & 8

Jul 10, 2016

ONTARIO, CA (July 10, 2016) - McCumbee McAleer Racing’s (MMR) outing to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) was bound to be an interesting one mainly due to the fact that just one of the team’s five drivers has experienced the high-speed twists and turns of the Canadian track before. However, this unfamiliar territory for the drivers was met with an ever progressing MMR team already in their sophomore year. This weekend of confidence building, coaching, track time, and competition ultimately proved to pay off in a big way as the team earned their second Battery Tender Hard Charger award in just four race weekends.  

MMR’s race weekend at CTMP began on Thursday when each of the team’s drivers had the opportunity to hone in on how to attack this unfamiliar racetrack with three, 30 minute test sessions. These test sessions were followed by an additional two practice sessions on Friday with the real action taking place on Saturday and Sunday with Qualifying and Rounds 7 & 8 of the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires.  

Held on early Saturday morning under clearing skies, Qualifying demonstrated the quick adaptability of the MMR team with each of the five drivers holding their own against the competition. Max Faulkner faired especially well by earning the 19th starting position of 35 cars. 

As the day progressed, MMR prepared for Race #1/Round #7 which would kick off at 6:20PM on the same day but, by this time, dark clouds began to roll into the area and the threat of rain became a real possibility. The green flag flew and drivers weren’t fighting for position for more than 10 minutes before the skies opened up over turns 7, 8, and 9. This sudden downpour proved to be no match against MMR as each driver handled the varying track conditions with complete finesse and patience. Aurora Straus, who pilots the #17 ModSpace/Premier Building Systems MX-5, gained three positions from the drop of the green flag, Marc Boily, who was piloting the #72 ModSpace/Spartan Cargo Trailers machine, gained four positions, Chris Ohmacht, in the #92 Monticello Motor Club/CAO Racing Mazda, gained five positions, Justin Raphael, driver of the #29 Monticello Motor Club/Raphael Racing Miata, gained a whopping 10 positions to finish 20th, and Max Faulkner, pilot of the #82 Monticello Motor Club car, came home in the 24th position.  

Race #2, which was held on a hot Sunday afternoon on the last day of the race weekend, began at 3:15PM. From the drop of the green flag, the attitude of progress instilled in the MMR team from Race #1 undoubtedly stuck as the team quickly fought to make progress toward the front of the field. Each driver was faring well until, about halfway into the race, there was a massive wreck heading into turn 2 which put the race under red flag conditions. The positive side of this was that MMR was not involved in the crash and no one was hurt, but negatively, the red flag halted the progress of the team.  

After 20 minutes of cleanup ensued under the halted track conditions, the race was ultimately called and the checkered flag waved without the race going back to green flag conditions. After showing the field what he is made of in Race #1, Justin Raphael replicated his outstanding progress by gaining another 10 positions and came home in 18th place. This talent-driven leap forward did not go unnoticed as he and crew chief, Sam Yarbrough, earned a Battery Tender Hard Charger award which was the second of the year for Yarbrough. 

Justin reflected on this noteworthy progress by saying, “This weekend was phenomenal. Having never been on this stellar track before, it has already become my favorite in the series. I was pretty amped up in qualifying which didn’t enable me to have the starting position that I would have liked, so I had to fight and claw nonstop to move my way forward in both races.” Raphael then went on to talk about his award-winning mentality in Race #2: “I gained 10 positions yesterday which helped me come into the next day feeling really strong. I knew I had to start in the back again but I told myself that I would do whatever it takes to finish in the top 10. If it weren’t for that red flag I think I would have made it all the way up there but overall it was a great to earn this award for the entire MMR team.” 

Next up on the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires schedule is rounds 9 and 10 which will be held at Virginia International Raceway on August 27th and 28th. This race will once again be streamed live on and it will, as always, showcase the ‘never give up’ attitude of MMR! 

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