NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After a nearly two-month break from competition, ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards competitor Gus Dean (@gusdean) and his Win-Tron Racing team seek their first win of the season in Saturday night’s Music City 200 at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville.
Dean, the Bluffton, S.C.-native has been eager to get back behind the wheel of his No. 32 GREE Cooling Products | Baker Distributing Chevrolet after a strong performance at Daytona International Speedway in February was thwarted after a late-race incident.
With superspeedway racing in the rearview mirror, for now, Dean, 23, is set to hone his short track skills with his Mooresville, N.C.-based team and new crew chief Jamie Jones in the second race of the season.
“I had a lot of fun at Nashville last year, but we had a mechanical failure take us of the hunt,” said Dean. “That was unfortunate – because I thought we had a good race car.”
Even though Dean, a former Talladega ARCA winner was confident in his GREE Racing car last spring, Dean and Jones recently tested at the historic short track and their results left them upbeat and hoping they’re a serious contender in Saturday night’s 200-lap fight.
“Our test went really, really good,” added Dean, who finished fourth in the championship standings last year. “Jamie and I are really starting to gel, and he’s focused on giving what I need behind the wheel of the race car and I’m determined to drive the wheels off our No. 32 GREE Chevrolet.
“Every change we made, the car reacted, and our lap times were consistent whether it was a short run or a long run. That’s’ important for a track like Nashville. You have to be prepared for both.”
As quick as the GREE Racing team was at Nashville on Mar. 30, Dean realizes that rebounding from Daytona is one of the team’s top priorities.
“We need a good finish to bounce back from Daytona, he added. “I know it’s still early in the season, but you need to start collecting points now. It’s super important. Last year, we got behind in the first two races and collectively we know that we can’t afford to do the same this season.”
Trying to predict what will happen in Saturday night’s race is nearly impossible, but the South Carolinian does know he’ll have plenty of support from the grandstands.
“We’re expecting over 100 people to come out and watch me race on Saturday night, that’s huge for me,” sounded Dean. “Tradewinds and Baker Distributing do a great job making sure we have a lot of support at these races and it’s a blast to not only meet them all but race this No. 32 GREE Cooling Products | Baker Distributing Chevrolet for them.
“I’m hoping we put on a show for them on Saturday night and I can bring home that Nashville guitar. That would be a heck of a trophy.”
In 28 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 17 top-10 finishes.