BROOKLYN, Mich. – On the heels of their season-best finish this past Friday afternoon at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, sophomore ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards driver Gus Dean (@GusDean) and his Win-Tron Racing team head to the Irish Hills of Michigan International Speedway seeking their first top-five of the season in Friday’s ZOMONGO 200.
The No. 32 GREE Cooling Products | Baker Distributing Chevrolet showcased its speedway strength with Dean aboard at the Tricky Triangle last week and with momentum from the team’s second top-10 finish of the year – the Bluffton, S.C. native is optimistic that his Jamie Jones-led team can contend for the win in his second start at Michigan.
“I’m looking forward to Michigan this weekend,” said Dean. “You know, we were satisfied with Pocono after everything that unraveled. It was an eventful race – but we did have a pretty good No. 32 GREE Cooling Products | Baker Distributing Chevrolet at the end that allowed us to climb from the back and finish sixth.
“This weekend at Michigan though, sixth is not an option. It’s top-five, hopefully, a win or bust.”
A top-five finish is not uncharacteristic for the Win-Tron Racing team at the 2.0-mile oval.
Last June, Dean qualified 15th but methodically marched his GREE Racing race car forward. While his team struggled with the handling of the car throughout the race – constant adjustments worked, and Dean found himself a contender for the win in the closing laps.
Dean took the white flag in second but blew a right front tire in Turn 2. Wrestling his car, Dean managed to salvage a strong day with a fifth-place performance. Fast forward 12 months later, the 23-year-old is hoping for a repeat performance without the Turn 2 tire disturbance.
“We were good at the start of the race and then our car wasn’t that great near halfway,” recalled Dean.
“We made a change and the sun came out and our GREE car came to life. Jamie (Jones, crew chief) has a good baseline of where he wants to be for the race this week and I’m confident we’ll be able to practice well, qualify strong and race hard for 100 laps.”
The Mooresville, N.C.-based team is bringing the same Chevrolet that Dean raced with last week at Pocono.
After spinning just past the halfway point of the General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200, the Win-Tron Racing team spent the weekend repairing their car knowing it’s a good bullet to have for the eighth race of the season.
“This car is pretty sporty,” said Dean. “We were pretty quick at Pocono. A little loose. A little too loose at times, but Jamie kept working on it at the end I was comfortable even with the damage we obtained in the spin. Michigan is a fast place and we’ll have a fast race car. Hopefully, that leads to good things when the checkered flag waves.”
Win-Tron Racing car owner Kevin Cywinski says the team needed the top-10 performance at Pocono last weekend and are eager to build on that finish in the Great Lakes State.
“I’m proud of Gus, Jamie and the team,” sounded Cywinski. “Everyone worked hard at Pocono during the test, during practice and the race. We had some obstacles, but everyone kept calm and we rallied back for a good finish.
“Jamie and Gus wanted to bring this same car to Michigan and I think we made the right decision. Michigan is a momentum track. Gus quickly adapted to the track last year and I think his experience should play into our hands this week.
“Like Gus, we’d be disappointed with anything less than a top-five finish.”
In 34 career ARCA Racing Series starts, Dean captured his first career victory in his second ever start at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway after starting a career-best second in Apr. 2016. Overall, Dean has eight top-five and 19 top-10 finishes.
The ZOMONGO 200 (100 laps | 200 miles) is the eighth of 20 races on the 2018 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Fri., June 8 with a two-hour practice session from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set for later in the day at 2:00 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag later in the day shortly after 5:30 p.m. The event will be televised live on MAVTV, while ARCARacing.com will stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities. All times are local (Eastern).
For more on Gus Dean, please visit his all new website at GusDean.com or like him on Facebook. Dean tweets too. Follow him on Twitter @GusDean.
For additional information on GREE Racing, please like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @GREE_Racing.