CLERMONT, Ind. – Squeezing out his eighth consecutive top-10 finish of the season two weeks ago at Iowa Speedway, SCOTT Rookie of the Year leader Gus Dean (@gusdean) returns to Lucas Oil Raceway (LOR) looking to earn his fifth top-five run in Friday night’s Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200.
In his ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards debut at Iowa, Dean qualified his No. 32 GREE Cooling Products Toyota 11th but quickly hustled towards the front.
Racing inside the top-five with the checkered flag quickly approaching, Dean experienced a flat tire under green flag conditions sending the GREE Racing driver to pit road for a new tire. The setback plummeted him through the running order to 15thand two laps off the pace.
Over the final 40 laps of the race, however, Dean rallied to earn one of his lost laps back and climbed the running to 10th when the checkered flag flew.
Hoping the bad luck is behind him, the Win-Tron Racing development driver sets his sights on Lucas Oil Raceway hoping to earn his ninth consecutive top-10 finish.
“We’ve had some really fast No. 32 GREE Toyota Camrys the last couple of races, unfortunately, we don’t have the results to really show for it,” said Dean. “At Madison, we had a car capable of winning, but tire strategy worked against us. At Iowa, just cut down a tire and ran out of time to recover for a better finish.
“Through the bumps in the road, we’ve kept our eye on the prize and that’s bringing good enough cars to the race track where we can contend for wins. With a little luck, I think our first win is not too far off the horizon.”
The 22-year-old driver returns to Lucas Oil Raceway looking to better his ninth-place result last July.
Dean qualified his GREE car 15th and despite being spun early in the race, he recovered to post his third top-10 finish during the 2016 season.
“I learned a lot about Lucas Oil last year,” said Dean. “It originally was not a race on my schedule, but the opportunity came about to race and we did. I learned that you really need to have the car rotating off the corner so you can carry the speed on the straightaways.
“Todd (Myers, crew chief) has a good feel on where he wants to be for the race and we’ve spent a lot of time in the shop working to make our cars faster for the second half of the season. I’m really encouraged and can’t wait to see what kind of results we can put together.”
During the week off from competition, Dean spent time with his teammate Justin Fontaine and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Austin Wayne Self. On July 12, the three drivers bonded during a day of fun at Carowinds Amusement Park in Charlotte.
“We spend a lot of time together at the race track, so it was nice to get away from that scenery and just hang out and not really talk about racing – but discuss everyday stuff,” added Dean. “It was cool. I learned a lot more about Justin and Austin and we had a lot of fun. Definitely a good team-building moment.”
For the fifth time this season, Dean will carry the GREE onboard camera offering an exclusive look from aboard his Kevin Cywinski-owned machine.
In 17 career ARCA Racing Series starts, Dean captured his first career victory in his second ever start at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway after starting second in Apr. 2016. Overall, Dean has five top-five and 11 top-10 finishes and has led 37 laps in ARCA competition.
The Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 (200 laps / 137 miles) is the 11th of 20 races on the 2017 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Fri., July 21 with an hour and forty-five-minute practice session planned from 12:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set for later in the day at 5:00 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag later shortly after 9:00 p.m. The event will be broadcasted live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), while ARCARacing.com will stream live timing and scoring throughout the week’s activities. All times are local (ET).
Dean tweets too. Follow him on Twitter @GusDean.
In 1991, GREE set out to make the world a cooler place. To this end, we’ve become a global leader in air conditioners, developing some of the most advanced commercial and residential air conditioners in the world. Based in Zhuhai, China, GREE is now the world’s largest specialized air conditioner company integrating R&D, manufacturing, sales and service. It’s our mission to innovate and create new ways to help people live well and stay comfortable no matter where they live, work or play.
About Win-Tron Racing:
Located in Mooresville, North Carolina, Win-Tron Racing is a professional race team headquartered in “Race City USA.” Owned by former racer Kevin Cywinski, the team will compete for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship in 2017 with driver Gus Dean in the No. 32 GREE Toyota Camry. The team will also field a second entry in the No. 33 Toyota Camry with Justin Fontaine and others. Learn more at WinTronRacing.com or on Twitter @WinTronRacing.