MADISON, Ill. – Riding the wave of two consecutive top-five finishes in ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards competition, Gus Dean (@GusDean) and his Win-Tron Racing team head to Gateway (Ill.) Motorsports Park hoping their third straight top-five performance equals a win in Friday night’s PapaNicholas Coffee 150.
Last weekend at Madison (Wisc.) International Speedway, Dean roared from a ninth-place qualifying effort to maneuver his No. 32 GREE Cooling Products | Baker Distributing Chevrolet inside the top-five and climbed to a race-high second before settling for fifth when the checkered flag flew.
Dean, the Bluffton, S.C.-native finally believes his Mooresville, N.C.-based team has shaken their stretch of bad luck and can now concentrate on winning races.
“I’m so proud of this Win-Tron Racing team over the last couple of weeks,” said Dean. “I think we’ve shown all year long we’ve had fast No. 32 GREE Cooling Products | Baker Distributing Chevrolets, but for one reason or another – we haven’t been able to reel in the finishes I know we’re capable of.
“The last two races at Michigan and Madison, we’ve done that and done it well. I’m heading to Gateway this weekend, a track I’ve never been too – but that could be a really good thing for us.”
Dean is right.
Visiting race tracks he’s never competed at paid off well during his rookie season of competition last year. On 10 different occasions in 2017, the 23-year-old produced 10 top-10 finishes at race tracks he’s never seen before.
With an open-test at the 1.25-mile oval on Thursday, Dean is optimistic he can make it 11 top-10 runs under the St. Louis lights Friday night.
“I think we’ve seen that testing has really paid off for our Win-Tron Racing team this year,” offered Dean. “Charlotte was a big indicator of that. We were pretty good at the test, came back and we were better even though we didn’t get the finish I felt like we deserved. While the turnaround is much quicker this week at Gateway, I think that could be a good thing for Jamie (Jones, crew chief) and I.
“I hope so.”
No matter what though, the former Talladega ARCA race winner says it’s important for his team to keep posting strong finishes as the series’ approaches its halfway point in 2018.
“We’ve been able to make some steady gains in the point standings over the last two weeks,” mentioned Dean. “The top spot is still a long way off – but there’s still plenty of racing left on the table.
We just need to keep our head down and focused on ourselves like we’ve been doing and hopefully, we can get a win or two here in the next couple of races. I feel like we are close.
Win-Tron Racing car owner Kevin Cywinski says the team’s strong performance at Madison shows the growth between the driver and crew chief – but as well as their program.
“Gus and Jamie are really working well together right now,” added Cywinski. “Madison was a great example of that. We just need to keep going to the race track and stay focused and hopefully, the results will speak for itself.
“Everyone on this GREE Racing team won’t be satisfied until we’re in Victory Lane, but I think we’re showing everyone that’s capable of happening sooner rather than later.”
In 36 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 10 top-five and 21 top-10 finishes.
The PapaNicholas Coffee 150 (120 laps |150 miles) is the 10th of 20 races on the 2018 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Fri., June 22 with an hour session planned from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. A final 55-minute practice session has been etched in from 1:30 p.m. – 2:25 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set for later in the day at 5:30 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag later in the day shortly after 8:00 p.m. The event will be broadcasted live on FOX Sports 2, while ARCARacing.com will stream live timing and scoring throughout the week’s activities. All times are local (CT).
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.