By 2001, Dean Skuza had collected two No. 1 qualifying awards in the same season for the first time in his 10-year career, and broke the Phoenix track elapsed time record with a 4.805-second pass in qualifying. The next season Dean finished fifth in the Winston Championship points standings; a career best mark. He reached one final round where he lost to Tony Pedregon. Dean also reset career-best marks in top speed and elapsed time. His first full season in NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series was 1994. Prior to that his family-owned team raced a limited schedule in 1992-93. Dean also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and interpersonal communication from Ohio University.