Disappointed with their last two finishes in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards sophomore driver Gus Dean (@GusDean) heads to Elko (Minn.) Speedway for Saturday night’s Sioux Chief PowerPEX 250 looking for a strong rebound for his Win-Tron Racing team.
After showcasing speed in his No. 32 GREE Cooling Products | Baker Distributing Chevrolet during the lone practice session at Iowa Speedway, Dean’s day went downhill after an apparent mechanical failure led to an early race accident.
With Iowa behind them, Dean believes he has paid his dues when it comes to bad luck and its time for things to go his way.
“Our spirit may have been bruised after Iowa, but we’re going to Elko with the attitude of a top-five finish or bust,” said Dean.
“At this point in the season, the championship seems unlikely, however, there’s still a lot of racing to do and a lot of opportunities to get our No. 32 GREE Cooling Products | Baker Distributing in Victory Lane.”
Known for his craft on short tracks, the Bluffton, S.C. native is upbeat about returning to Elko where he scored one of his seven top-five finishes driving the GREE Racing machine during his first full season of competition.
“Elko was a hectic race last year,” Dean recalled. “We had a good race car and I thought actually we were going to finish like sixth or seventh – but a last lap melee broke out and somehow we were able to escape with a top-five finish.
“This year, we’ve stepped up our game as far as speed is concerned and I’d be disappointed if we didn’t go to Elko and compete for the win. I think my crew chief Jamie (Jones) is one of the smartest in the garage, we just need that opportunity where everything goes our way and we can get ourselves in Victory Lane.
“I thought last week was going to be that chance. But, we’re not going to give up and going to keep digging. GREE, Tradewinds and Baker Distributing deserve that.”
Currently sitting sixth in the championship standings with eight races remaining – Dean knows it’s still possible to make a significant climb in the point standings between now and Kansas Speedway in October.
“Yeah, I’m looking forward to this summer stretch. Between Elko, Berlin, Pocono – then the two dirt races and more, there’s going to be plenty of opportunities for us to make up our point deficit and get us in a good position to end the season on a high note and begin focusing on 2019.
“We’ve already started working on next year. It will be here before you know it.”
Team owner Kevin Cywinski is trying to keep his troop focused – while battling the highs and lows of professional auto racing.
“Chicagoland and Iowa didn’t go like we thought at all, but it’s racing, and you just can’t predict that stuff,” he said. “Our team is strong. Our driver is focused. And our determination is our strength to get our No. 32 GREE Cooling Products | Baker Distributing Chevrolet in Victory Lane soon.
“Everyone believes in him and he believes in us. We just need to stay humble and focused and good things are on the horizon.”
In 39 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 22 top-10 finishes.