Gus Dean, No. 32 GREE Cooling Products/Baker Distributing Chevrolet Preview: Salem

Gus Dean, No. 32 GREE Cooling Products/Baker Distributing Chevrolet Preview: Salem

Gus Dean is throwing himself back 39 years.

The Bluffton, S.C. native and his Win-Tron Racing team will participate in Saturday night’s ARCA throwback weekend at Salem (Ind.) Speedway recognizing Dean’s hero and early career driver coach Donnie Allison.

Dean’s No. 32 Baker Distributing Co. | GREE Cooling Products Chevrolet will sport Allison’s iconic maroon-colored Hawaiian Tropic scheme and signage rewinding back to Allison’s scheme most recognizable in the 1979 Daytona 500 where Allison and Cale Yarborough were involved in a last-lap accident with a fight ensuing after both drivers realized they had lost the “Great American Race.”

Allison, an original member of the Alabama Gang served as a driving coach to Dean through his earlier years of Motorsports competition in South and North Carolina.

While Allison is not heavily involved today, the two maintain a great friendship and speak often.

“I’m so happy to carry Donnie’s colors this weekend at Salem,” said Dean. “Thank you to Baker Distributing, GREE and Tradewinds for allowing us to do this.

"We did a huge throwback scheme to my car owner Kevin Cywinski last year – but this year I wanted to do something for Donnie who has been instrumental in making my racing career successful.

“I hate that he can’t be at the track this week, but he saw the car first hand and is excited to watch the race on Saturday night.”
The 24-year-old invades Salem’s annual fall classic looking for his second ARCA Racing Series win of the season and his fourth consecutive top-10 finish at the 0.555-mile high-banked short track.

In April, Dean qualified his No. 32 GREE Cooling Products | Baker Distributing Chevrolet and proved that he had a winning race car before circumstances on pit road and ultimately being collected in a late-race entanglement left the Mooresville, N.C.-team with an eighth-place run.

This weekend, Dean wants to win at one of his favorite tracks on the circuit.

“My crew chief Jamie Jones gave me a fast-enough car to win in the Spring and we didn’t get it done,” added Dean. “It wasn’t our fault, but we left Salem in the spring wondering what could have been.

“I don’t want to do that this weekend. Not for a throwback weekend. Outside of the championship pictures, it’s about points and wins for us. And it would be really cool to take our No. 32 Baker Distributing Co. | GREE Cooling Products Chevrolet to Victory Lane in these throwback colors.”

Last weekend at Lucas Oil Raceway, the reminiscent of Tropical Storm Gordon soaked the Indianapolis area and postponed the Shore Lunch 200 until Sat., October 6.

Not having an opportunity to bounce back from a DuQuoin disaster, Dean is antsy to get back behind the wheel.

“I know that ARCA and Lucas Oil did everything they could, but Mother Nature wouldn’t cooperate last weekend. It stunk. I think it was going to be a good show and I believe we had a car capable of another top-five run.

"We’ll see what develops in a couple weeks.

“I’m ready to get to Salem though. Just three races left this year before we begin preparing for 2019 and Salem provides a great opportunity to get our Win-Tron Racing team back in Victory Lane.”

Team owner Kevin Cywinski says the team has been ready for their return to Salem for months.

“We should have a car capable of winning this weekend,” he said. “It’s a track that Gus just immediately had a knack for. We finished second there last year and proved that we had one of the fastest cars on the track.

“I don’t expect anything different this weekend. The car looks great with the Donnie Allison throwback and the guys are pumped to be apart of this new ARCA tradition. Should be a fun day on Saturday.”

In 44 career ARCA Racing Series starts, Dean captured his first career victory in his second ever start at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway after starting second in Apr. 2016, while earning his second win at Elko Speedway in July 2018. Overall, Dean has two poles (Pocono July 2018; Springfield August 2018), two wins, 12 top-five and 25 top-10 finishes.

The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic (200 laps | 111 miles) is the 18th of 20 races on the 2018 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Sat, Sept. 15 with an hour and a half session planned from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set for 4:00 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag that night shortly after 7:15 p.m. The event will be broadcasted live on MAVTV, while will stream live timing and scoring throughout the day’s activities. All times are local (ET).