DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Speedweeks 2019 will be insanely busy for Gus Dean (@gusdean) and he doesn’t mind one bit.
Dean, the Bluffton, S.C.-native will not only compete in Saturday afternoon’s ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season-opener but also race in a slew of Super Late Model races at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway and cap off his Speedweeks by making his NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) debut at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on February 15 for Young’s Motorsports.
Getting to Victory Lane will be no easy chore for the 24-year-old Dean, but the Win-Tron Racing driver has set his sights on conquering Daytona’s 2.5-mile speedway start to finish this weekend.
“I can’t wait to get to Florida,” said Dean who will pilot the No. 32 CAB Installers | Baker Distributing Co. Chevrolet in his 48th career ARCA start.
“This year will be the busiest I’ve ever been for Speedweeks, but I genuinely feel like I have a good opportunity to contend for the win in not only my ARCA car but my Super Late Model and next Friday night in my Truck debut.”
With his fourth ARCA start at the “World Center of Racing” on deck, Dean is hoping his experience will pay off in the 80-lap race, but most of all, he is hoping to see the checkered flag.
In his three previous outings at the 2.5-mile speedway, Dean has often found himself at the front of the field but collected in multi-car accidents. Last year, the South Carolinian was fifth coming to the initial white flag lap, but chaos erupted on the backstretch with Dean involved and knocked out of contention.
This year, Dean is hoping his luck has changed.
“I feel like I still have something to prove at Daytona,” Dean added. “I’ve had some very fast cars, but we’ve always ended up in the garage before its all said and done. I hope I’ve paid my dues and I can see the checkered flag and hopefully get the opportunity to hoist the trophy.”
Dean and crew chief Jamie Jones participated in the two-day open ARCA test at Daytona in January and left the track extremely confident in their race car.
“I have to give a lot of credit to Jamie, Kevin (Cywinski, team owner) and all the guys on this Win-Tron Racing team,” sounded Dean. “This was our Talladega car from last year and Jamie kept tweaking on it during the off-season and it was a rocket ship during the test.
“It had a lot of speed in single-car runs and was sporty in the draft. Saturday’s race is going to come down to luck. I feel like I’ll be one of the most experienced drivers in the race and hope that knowledge will be beneficial for me. I don’t know what our plan of attack will be for the race.
“We’ll see where we qualify and go from there.”
Longtime Dean supporter CAB Installers will serve as the primary marketing partner for Saturday’s ARCA race, while Baker Distributing returns to Daytona with Dean in an associate role.
Dean’s No. 32 Chevrolet will also sport the logo of LG Air Conditioning Technologies, his new partner in his full-season Truck Series effort at Young’s Motorsports.
“I feel very fortunate to have so much support for Daytona and the season,” offered Dean. “In a time where sponsorship is still tough in Motorsports, I feel blessed and grateful to have our car covered. The last time we had CAB Installers on our race car – we ended up in Victory Lane at Talladega in 2016, maybe we can pull off that magic again on Saturday.”
Win-Tron Racing car owner Kevin Cywinski says the team had the opportunity to field a second car for Dean this weekend – but chose to focus solely on Dean’s No. 32 CAB Installers | Baker Distributing Co. Chevrolet in hopes of propelling Dean to his third career ARCA victory.
“We’re pretty pumped about the piece we’re bringing for Gus this weekend,” said Cywinski. “It’s a good car and we’ve worked hard and tirelessly to make sure it’s a car we feel like Gus can win with.
“Even though Gus isn’t running a full season in ARCA this year, we really want to make sure any opportunities he gets to race – he feels like he has the opportunity to go out there and win. We feel like we can accomplish that on Saturday.”
Dean will carry the General Tire onboard camera for Saturday afternoon’s race – providing an exclusive view of the action from inside his automobile.
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.
The Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire (80 laps | 200 miles) is the first of 20 races on the 2019 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Thurs., Feb. 7 with a two-hour session from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. A final practice session has been etched in on Fri., Feb. 8 from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Group qualifying is set for later in the day at 3:30 p.m. The season-opener for the 67th consecutive ARCA season is set to take the green flag on Sat., Feb. 9 shortly after 4:30 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), while ARCARacing.com will stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities.